•BY AKPAN EDEM in Uyo •
The Nigerian Navy Ship, Jubilee,Ikot Abasi has arrested six suspects in connection with illegal oil bunkering and seized three truckloads of illegal AGO from them.
The Navy also retrieved five storage tanks, and generators from the illegal oil bickering site in Ikot Ibiok, Eket local government area, Akwa Ibom State.
Captain Suleiman Ibrahim, Executive Officer of NNS Jubilee who represented the Commander NNS Jubilee, Commodore Ayerinade Akinwale said on Tuesday that they were able to apprehend the suspects through intelligence report.
He cautioned people to desist from involving themselves in the illegal business, adding that the navy was ready to track them down wherever they maybe.
“We received credible intelligence in the early hours of 23rd October, 2018 at exactly 001 hours (1am). On that basis, we deployed our anti crude oil team and we came to this spot where we are and when we got here we intercepted an illegal operation that is on-going.
“You have seen three trucks which is fully loaded with illegally refined AGO (Automotive Gas Oil) and there are also five storage tanks. We are also lucky to arrest six suspects who are remotely connected to this operation. The oil on the ground cause environmental damage.
“We can only arrest and hand them over to the NSDC team who would then prosecute the suspects in the court of law. We appeal to all those people involved in these illegal activities to desist from this act because it is not only an economic crime, it is an environmental crime.
“But if they refuse, wherever they are and whenever, we would arrest them and make sure they are prosecuted,” he said.
One of the suspects, Eyakeno Isaac, said he was introduced into the business by his friend and it was his first time, adding that he is a mason and was involved in the illegal business because he had no more work as a mason and has to survive.
“My friend called me to work here and this is my first time of coming here. My friend that brought me here escaped when the place was raided. I am a 33 years old mason but I no longer get jobs; I have two children and they have been sent out of school”.