Central Naval Command in Bayelsa yesterday said it has intercepted a vessel registered as MT DERA, a Tugboat RUNNER CHARLEY and 11 crew members suspected to be involved in oil theft.
According to a statement issued by Lieutenant Commander Eddie Yeibo for Flag Officer Commanding, FOC, Central Naval Command, CNC, the seizure was effected following a tip off and intelligence.
Yeibo noted that the vessel and tugboat were apprehended at Eremor 1 Marginal Oil Field located off Peretorugbene in Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
He stated that the Merchant Tanker DERA was laden with 6,000 metric tons of suspected stolen crude oil.
The statement quoted the FOC, CNC, Rear Admiral Apochi Suleiman speaking at the scene of the arrest, as saying that preliminary investigation was ongoing.
“The barge was arrested at a point where there was no loading point.
“But rather, the crude was suspected to be stolen from well head at the Eremor 1 Marginal Field’’ Suleiman said.
The FOC reportedly warned that there will be no hiding place for oil thieves within the Command’s area of responsibility as the Command has intensified patrol of her area of responsibility.
Suleiman noted that the Command has made several successful raids on illegal refinery sites and seizures in the fight against crude oil theft barely 2 weeks on assumption of office.
He attributed the feat to the zero tolerance stance on crude oil theft, pipeline vandalism, illegal oil bunkering and other sundry crimes by Central Naval Command in its area of responsibility.
He assured that the Navy will continue to make the illegal business of crude oil theft, pipeline vandalism and other sundry crimes unattractive.

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