31 May 2015, Warri – As part of its continued efforts to combat the menace of crude oil theft in the Niger Delta swamps, the Nigerian Navy has handed two suspected oil thieves recently arrested over to the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) in Warri for prosecution.
The Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Delta, under the watch of its new Commander, Commodore Aliyu Sule, had recently arrested two suspected oil thieves, namely Braye Ogoba and Ikiere Benjamin, around Odimodi community, in the Forcados area, Burutu council area of Delta state.
The Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) the Central Naval Command of the Nigerian Navy, Rear Admiral Stanley Ogoigbe, who spoke during the parade of the suspects and their handing over also handed two foreigners of Sao Tome and Principe nationality, who were rescued while adrift and stranded in the Agbami deep offshore oil field area, over to officials of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS).
Speaking during the handover ceremony, the naval chief, who had the Commander of the NNS Delta, Commodore Sule with him also disclosed that the authorities at the Warri naval base had arrested a self-propelled barge; MV Chopin, believed to the loaded with stolen crude oil, around the Forcados River.
He said the two suspected oil thieves, whom were originally arrested by a community vigilante group, with the aid of the Navy, had given useful information regarding their suspected activities, adding that the highly specialized tools found on them at the time of their arrest further revealed their plots.
“We have been patrolling the waterways and our efforts yielded fruits when two suspected oil thieves were arrested before they could carry out their plan. They were arrested by vigilante and handed over to us. They were going to open up an oil well in the Forcados area.”
On the rescue of the two Sao Tome and Principe nationals who were found lost at sea, he said “they were rescued recently during our patrol of the waters. The two rescued expatriates, blacks, can only speak Portuguese and one of their boats was terribly damaged.”
– The Nation