The Naval Commanding Officer, Forward Operating Base (FOB), Ibaka, Mbo Local Government Area of the state, Navy Capt. Mohammed Abu who paraded the suspects to newsmen on Wednesday said they were apprehended on November 26, 2021 while on routine patrol.
“So, having said this, we have three wooden boats which were conveying 408 drums of AGO and 40 drums of PMS mixed with oil, 906 empty drums and 35 male suspects are here before you.
“This arrest is to send a message to those vandals of our crude oil pipelines that the CNS has zero-tolerance for crude oil theft and our ships are out there looking for them and we will arrest them until they are out of our maritime domain,” he said.
He appealed to smugglers and vandals of petroleum products to stay out of the business, as the base would not relent in its continuous patrol to sustain the directive of the CNS and rid criminal elements out of Nigeria waterways.
“I deployed our boats and identified the creeks where they are operating within Mbo waterways. As I speak to you, I have three of our boats that have choked them up in creeks within the waterways at Unyenge, Okposo and Ikang.”
Meanwhile, the Head of Anti Vandals, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Akwa Ibom Command, Assistant Commandant of Corps, Adamu Jafaaru, received the suspects and the exhibits on behalf of the NSCDC.
“I want to assure you all that as the Nigerian Navy handed over the suspects and exhibits to us as the Prosecuting Agency. We will conduct a thorough investigation and ensure diligent prosecution of those involved in this economic sabotage of the nation.” He said.