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  • Oil & Gas - News
  • Updated: February 17, 2024

Arrested oil thieves named foreign collaborators — Police

Arrested oil thieves named foreign collaborators — Police

The Nigeria Police Force has maintained that 40 persons who were arrested for oil theft and economic sabotage in the Niger Delta have indicted companies and individuals, who include foreign collaborators.

The Force said two vessels transporting stolen crude oil were also intercepted at the Ogbogoro Oil Field, Brass Area, and Ekeni Area of Southern-Ijaw in Bayelsa State.

According to a statement by the Force Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi, on Saturday, the arrest was in conjunction with the military and other relevant security agencies.

He said security agents have been in  liaison on intelligence sharing and collaboration with private security contractors engaged by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, especially the Tantita Security Services.

“The efforts led to the arrest of 40 suspected individuals and recovery of two vessels in two different interceptions at the Ogbogoro Oil Field, Brass Area, and Ekeni Area of Southern-Ijaw in Bayelsa State, for conspiracy, tampering with oil pipeline, illegal transportation of crude oil, dealing in crude and storing same without lawful authority or appropriate license amongst others,” Adejobi stated.

He disclosed that the suspects were apprehended and subjected to investigation, having established a prima facie case against them.

“They will be arraigned in court to face charges related to economic sabotage and oil theft which have been filed.

“Similarly, vessels used in the illegal activities have been seized as part of the evidence against the suspects.

“Specifically, arraignment for suspects involved in the case of one of the vessels is scheduled for 26th February 2024 while the motion for interim forfeiture of the vessel and products contained therein will be heard on 19th February 2024,” the FPRO said.

He added that “preliminary investigations have indicted numerous individuals and companies including their foreign collaborators” who will be interrogated and caused to face the full wrath of the law.

NNPCL said 10,166 illegal refineries and crude oil connections have been destroyed in Nigeria since 2021.

It stated that over 5,686 illegal oil refining sites were destroyed, while 4,480 illegal crude oil connections were removed during the review period.

Oil theft has been listed as one of the factors responsible for the dwindling daily crude oil production.

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