April 21, 2024

EFCC questions 10 suspects over crude stolen from ExxonMobil oilfield


Adebayo Obajemu

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, says it has begun inquiry into 10 suspected oil thieves, who were arrested on board a vessel laden with 100 metric tonnes of crude oil within an oilfield operated by ExxonMobil, without an appropriate licence.

The ten suspects, according to EFCC, were arrested on board a vessel, MT Queen Hansal, by operatives of Nigerian Navy Forward Operating Base Ibaka, Akwa Ibom State, on December 28, 2023 and handed over to the Uyo Zonal Command of EFCC.

Handing over the arrested suspects and exhibits to EFCC, the Commander, Nigerian Navy Forward Operating Base Ibaka, Captain Uche Aneke, said Akwa Ibom State and its environment remained unfavourable for oil thieves.

He said, “The vessel MT Queen Hansal was involved in suspicious activities along ExxonMobil oil field at position Lat 04’12’ 956 N, Long 007’40’ 186 ‘E’ by switching off its Automatic Identification System, such that the Nigerian Navy in its task arrested the ship.

“So the vessel and the 10 crew members were arrested by NNS Oji on December 28, 2023 during inspection and brought to base on December 30, 2023,” the Navy said.

Receiving the suspects and the products from the Navy, a Deputy Superintendent of the EFCC, Ayuba Zira, commended the Navy and assured that a thorough investigation would be conducted and culpable suspects 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 work with the Navy to sanitize our oil industry and waterways.”

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