The Nigeria Navy Ship (NNS) Victory in Calabar, the Cross River State capital, have arrested a merchant ship, MV EFEMENA, containing 773, 472 litres of adulterated diesel, as well as eight suspects along the Calabar Channel.
Handing over the vessel laden with the product and suspects to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for further investigation and prosecution, Commander of NNS Victory, Commodore Julius Nwagu, said they were from Delta State and headed for a tank farm in Ikot Abasi, Akwa Ibom State.
Nwagu said, “We are here to hand over a merchant vessel, MV EFEMENA that was arrested on April 19 to EFCC. The vessel was mounted to do a ship-to-ship transfer of AGO from Delta to a tank farm in Ikot-Abasi, Akwa Ibom State.
“The operation was to commence on April 19, but it went on April 17 to pick the product from another vessel containing 773, 472 litres of AGO from a platform. Unknown to them, our intelligence was already trailing them and we intercepted them when they entered the Calabar channel on April 19.
“The implication is that they picked the AGO two days earlier from an illegal source. And when they were arrested, we immediately contacted the Department of Petroleum Resources who came to take samples of the product in the vessel and it was discovered that it was adulterated AGO.
“We have had to call the EFCC, in accordance with the provision of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, who have the right to prosecute those with illegal oil products.”
Nwagu warned that the Navy would continue to monitor the country’s maritime domain, and no criminal activity would be allowed to continue on the waterways anymore.
Deputy Zonal Head of EFCC, Uyo office, Mr. Alex Ebbah, promised that the commission would after investigation, prosecute the suspects in the court of law.
“We are here to take over the vessel and its products as well as the suspects on behalf of the EFCC Chairman, Mr. Ibrahim Magu. We appreciate the efforts of the Navy in combating economic crimes on the waterways.
“This collaboration has yielded positive results as so many vessels have been forfeited to the Federal Government through similar interceptions in the past. We would do our best to ensure that this matter culminate to a successful prosecution,” he said.
Source : today.ng