The Nigerian Navy Forward Operation Base (FOB) in Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, on Wednesday, handed over impounded Barge Podium of vessel to the officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The FOB Commanding Officer, Navy Capt. Adamu Yahaya, who handed over the vessel to EFCC in Formoso, Egwuama of Brass area of the state, said the vessel was laden with unspecified quantities of products, suspected to be illegally refined Automated Gasoline Oil (AGO).
Yahaya also said the vessel was seized in May 2017 at a creek in Alaki area of Rivers, adding that the suspects on board fled when they sighted the Navy gunboat.
He said the handing over of the vessel to the commission was in compliance with the naval headquarters’ directives.
“The Nigerian Navy has been given the mandate to apprehend any ship suspected to be carrying out illegalities in the Nigerian maritime domain, however, by law, we are not allowed to carry out prosecution of offenders.
“We are directed to handover seized vessels to the EFCC for further investigations and possible prosecution,” he said.
A Senior Detective Superintendent and leader of the EFCC team from Port Harcourt Zonal office, Mr. Abdullahi Musa, received the vessel and promised that EFCC would carry out thorough investigation into the matter.
“We will carry out thorough investigation with a view to determining the level of involvement, content of the vessel and prosecution of those involved.”
NAN reports that officials of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) took samples of the content of the vessels for further laboratory analysis.