Oil Theft: Navy Hands Over Vessel, Crew to EFCC

MV Gratitude, a bunkered vessel and its crew of six, intercepted on January 9, 2020 by officers of the Nigerian Navy, Forward Operating Base, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, were today January 22, 2020 handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for further investigation and possible prosecution.

The Commanding Officer, Forward Operating Base, Commodore Suleiman Ibrahim, while handing over the vessel and crew disclosed that that the ship laden with 1,000,000 liters of locally refined automotive gas oil and it crew of six Nigerians namely, Victor Ita (captain), Rotimi Poroye, Henry Edet Bassey, Rahpael Adewale, Godswill Iko and Jonah Achieve were arrested at the Brass inshore water anchorage. He assured of the navy’s determination to clear the waterways of illegal oil bunkering and sea pirates for legitimate business operators to thrive.

Tasiu Abubakar, a superintendent of police who received the vessel and crew members on behalf of the EFCC, promised diligent investigation of the alleged crime.

Tony Orilade
Acting Head, Media & Publicity
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Oil Theft: DPR Pledges Support to EFCC

The Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, has pledge to improve its collaboration with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in fighting oil theft and other petroleum related economic crimes in the Niger Delta.

Mr. Bassey Nkanga, the Zonal Operations Controller of DPR in Port Harcourt gave the assurance on Tuesday, January 21, 2020 when he received a team from the EFCC Zonal office in Port Harcourt, led by the new Head, Mr Usman Imam.

According to Nkanga, the DPR gives EFCC priority in the analysis of product samples, “because we recognize the importance and urgency to release quality status in aid of your investigations.”

Though he observed some recent challenges in the relationship between the two agencies, the Zonal Operations Controller was quick to assure that the challenges would not affect the tempo of collaboration. “We believe the relationship between the EFCC and DPR will continue to be strong because we recognize that what you do is in the best interest of Nigeria and nothing will stop us from collaborating with EFCC. We will double the efforts,” he said.

Responding, the EFCC Zonal Head, Imam thanked the DPR management for receiving his team despite the short notice.

According to him, “My mission here is to get acquainted with you and explore how we can continue to strengthen the collaboration between our agencies. I need not overemphasize the fact that we have, and continue to benefit from the resources of the DPR.

“Your technical input in the areas of petroleum products analysis to determine the type, quality, and quantity; as well as the documentation of oil bearing vessels, have greatly assisted our investigations of oil theft, which is a major activity of the zonal office.

Imam pledged to build on the foundation of close collaboration established by his predecessors. He urged the management of the DPR to put behind them the challenges experienced in the past, assuring of a new vista of robust synergy and collaboration in the fight against illegal oil bunkering and other maritime related economic crimes.

Tony Orilade
Acting Head, Media & Publicity