EFCC Probes 13 suspected Oil Thieves

EFCC Probes 13 suspected Oil Thieves
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has launched an investigation into suspected oil theft involving 13 individuals and a vessel, MT SWEET MIRI, handed over to the commission by the Nigerian Navy NNS Beecroft, stationed in Apapa, Lagos State.

As per a statement issued by EFCC spokesman Dele Oyewale on Monday, the suspects have been identified as Abu Smith, Pascal Anyafulu, David Ali, Mba Okpanu, Chukuma Friday Obiazi, Miye Victor, Richard Kofi, Monday Aidenagbon, Dele Olayemi, Boma Robinson, David George, Onos Edemefe, and Suleiman Aremu.

The vessel and its crew were detained on February 27, 2024, by Nigerian Navy personnel on suspicion of engaging in illegal oil bunkering and violating Automatic Identification System (AIS) regulations, marking a significant step in the fight against maritime crimes.

EFCC's involvement signals a commitment to combating economic crimes, particularly in sectors like oil and maritime, which have long grappled with illegal activities such as oil theft and smuggling.

As investigations proceed, EFCC aims to gather evidence and take legal action against those found culpable. The collaboration between the Nigerian Navy and EFCC underscores a joint effort to curb economic sabotage and safeguard Nigeria's maritime assets.

Moses Awolusi, Head of the Extractive Industry Fraud Section (EIFS), received the crew members, vessel, and confiscated substance on April 24, 2024. He assured the Navy that the suspects and exhibits would undergo further scrutiny and prosecution.

Awolusi also lauded the Navy for its partnership with EFCC, emphasizing the effective working relationship between the two agencies.

EFCC affirmed that once investigations are concluded, the suspects will be brought before the court to face charges related to the alleged oil theft, reflecting the agency's commitment to upholding the rule of law and combating economic malfeasance.

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