Navy hands over 2 suspected oil thieves to NSCDC, stresses need for investigation of illegal oil connection in Delta


By Abiodun OBA

The Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Delta has stressed the need for thorough investigation to ascertain those responsible for the illegal connection on the oil pipeline in Asugbo Creek

The Commander, NNS Delta, Commodore Chindo Yahaya represented by Navy Capt. Solomon Paul, Executive Officer of the NNS Delta stressed while handing over two suspected oil thieves to officials of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).

Addressing newsmen, on Wednesday at the premises of the Naval Base in Warri, Yahaya said that the suspects were apprehended on Sept. 17, at the Asugbo Creek in Warri South Local Government Area of the state.

He said the feat was made possible by the NNS Delta patrol team and the Ocean Marine Solution (OMS) surveillance staff.

OMS is an accredited indigenous Nigerian maritime security solutions provider, protecting national oil and gas industry assets.

“On Sept. 17, 2023, at about 2:35 pm, the NNS Delta Patrol team in conjunction with the surveillance staff of the OMS, while on patrol at Asugbo Creek discovered a vandalised and leaking pipeline.

“On further enquiry, they noticed an illegal connection on the pipeline.

“The team searched the surrounding area and intercepted three persons in a canoe boat, 20 metres away from the vandalised pipelines.

“They wanted to escape but two among them were intercepted,” he said,” he said.

The naval officer said that the suspects were brought to naval base and after interrogation, they claimed to be fishermen.

He said that fishing gear was not found with them, and neither did the patrol team observe fishing nets, or hooks within the immediate environment they were apprehended.

Yahaya added that the suspects could not provide a convincing explanation of why they attempted to escape, and the whereabouts of their accomplice.

Yahaya warned those indulging in crude oil theft and other forms of criminal activities in the maritime space to desist.

He said that NNS Delta, in line with the Chief of Naval Staff, “Strategic Directive 2023 – 6” would ensure that her areas of responsibility were rid of oil theft and pipeline vandalism.

Mr Victor Igbinoba, Divisional Head Officer, NSCDC in Warri South Local Government Area, received the suspects on behalf of the corps.

Igbinoba promised that the suspects would be thoroughly investigated and prosecuted in line with the law.


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