Navy arrests 28 suspects over theft of 527,810 litres of crude oil in Ondo

Men of the Nigerian Navy’s Forward Operating Base in Igbokoda, Ondo State, have apprehended 28 suspects allegedly involved in the theft of 527,810 litres of crude oil.

The arrest was made following the intelligence received by the Anti-Crude Oil Theft Patrol Team, COT, of the Nigerian Navy regarding the illegal activities taking place offshore of the Awoye Riverine community in Ilaje Local Government of the state.

Commanding Officer of the base, Captain Wasuku Alushi, who revealed the arrest of the suspects’ to journalists at the Naval Base in Igbokoda, said “We intercepted a wooden boat, commonly referred to as the ‘Cotonou Boat,’ which was found to be carrying stolen crude oil in the vicinity of Illepte offshore at the Awoye riverine community in Ilaje.”

According to Alushi, who said two other speedboats were also intercepted along with the wooden boat, stressed that a 15000-metric-ton vessel, identified as MT Vinnalaris 1 Lagos, laden with about 515,870 litres of stolen crude oil, was also apprehended a few days ago.

The Commanding Officer maintained that 17 suspects were arrested some 7 nautical miles off the coast of Awoye Riverine Community whil syphoning crude oil from a wellhead operated by CONOIL.

Alushi emphasised that the primary purpose of the base was to enhance the effectiveness of the Western Naval Command (WNC) by supporting its policing responsibilities, specifically in combating Crude Oil Theft, COT, and illegal bunkering activities.

He further stated that the base operates under the operational authority of Rear Admiral MB Hassan, who leads the Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command.

Alushi reiterated the base’s dedication to eradicating the threat of COT and other crimes in Igbokoda and the surrounding areas.

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