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EFCC begins investigation of 10 suspected oil thieves in Akwa Ibom

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The Uyo Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has announced that it has commenced the investigation of ten suspected oil thieves in Akwa Ibom, handed over to it by the Nigerian Navy Forward Operating Base (FOB) Ibaka, Akwa Ibom State.

This information was contained in a statement released by EFCC Spokesperson, Dele Oyewale on Saturday, March 9, 2024.

Oyewale stated that the suspects, who allegedly operated without the appropriate licenses, were apprehended by the Navy while onboard a ship, MT Queen Hansal, loaded with 100 metric tonnes of petroleum products.

Furthermore, he mentioned that during the handover of the arrested suspects and exhibits to the EFCC, the Commanding Officer of FOB, Captain Uche Aneke, emphasized that the Navy will continue to carry out its duty to ensure that Akwa Ibom State remains unfavorable for oil thieves.

The statement revealed, “The vessel MT Queen Hansal was involved in suspicious activities along the Exxon Mobil oil field at position Lat 04’12’ 956 N, Long 007’40’ 186 ‘E’, as it switched off its Automatic Identification System (AIS). The Nigerian Navy, during its task, apprehended the ship, and the vessel along with the 10 crew members were arrested by NNS OJI on December 28, 2023, during an inspection. They were subsequently brought to the base on December 30, 2023.”

Upon receiving the suspects and the products on behalf of the EFCC, Deputy Superintendent of the EFCC, DSE Ayuba Zira, expressed gratitude to the Navy and assured that a thorough investigation would be conducted, and any culpable suspects would be prosecuted accordingly.

“We want to assure the public that the EFCC is going to investigate this conclusively, and everyone found culpable will face justice. The Command will continue to collaborate with the Navy to sanitize our oil industry and waterways,” he stated.

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