In the Degema Local Government Area of Rivers State, the Nigerian Navy has discovered and dismantled oil equipment belonging to a suspected oil syndicate on Oil Mining Lease-18 in Elem Krakama Creek.
According to the Navy, the dismantled equipment was used for siphoning crude oil from Oil Well 17, which is operated by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited.
Commodore Suleman Ibrahim, the Commander of Nigerian Navy Ship Pathfinder, revealed that the illicit activities were spotted by the Navy’s patrol helicopter on July 11, 2023. Ibrahim, accompanied by journalists, led the way to the site on Saturday. He explained that the discovery led to the dismantling of multiple pipelines that were buried in the ground.
Furthermore, in a separate incident, four suspects involved in illegal oil bunkering were arrested. Ibrahim expressed surprise at the level of expertise exhibited by the suspects during the excavation process and stated that such extensive oil theft could not have been carried out by amateurs. He described the syndicate members as sophisticated individuals with expertise.
Ibrahim emphasized that the cartel responsible for the illegal activities would be tracked down and arrested, ensuring they face prosecution. He also mentioned that technical staff from the NNPC OML18 had assessed a second location (Kala Ekweama) and that work would soon commence at both sites to rectify the compromised areas.
In addition, the Navy apprehended four suspects connected to oil bunkering. Although the suspects reside in Borikiri in Port Harcourt, they are originally from the Southern Ijaw axis of Bayelsa State. During interrogation, the suspects confessed that they were paid N20,000 to transport diesel from the creek to Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State. The four suspects will be handed over to the appropriate agency for prosecution.
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