The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Christopher Musa, in company of top officials of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited on Monday, inspected a vessel caught with about 200,000 litres of stolen crude.
The vessel was arrested by a joint sting operation carried out by the Nigerian Navy and a private security firm Tantita Security Services.
Twenty three suspects were caught on the vessels and the CDS assured the NNPCL and Nigerians that the Chief of Defence Intelligence would commence investigation immediately to unravel the criminals behind the act.
The Group Chief Executive Officer of the NNPCL, Mele Kyari, who declined comments on camera, decried the brazen level at which crude oil theft has escalated in the past few months despite the efforts being made to increase crude oil production in the country and jack up government revenue.
The vessel was caught off the coast of the Gbaramatu Kingdom area of Warri in Delta State and brought to the Oporoza area where investigation will begin.
The vessel is capable of carrying 350,000 of raw crude.