The Nigerian Navy has handed over 11 artisans arrested on suspicion of planning to construct an illegal refinery to the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, in Port Harcourt, on Monday.
The Base Operations Officer of the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Pathfinder Port Harcourt, Cdr. Sa’id Kabir, handed the suspects over to Mr Monday Lawal of the NSCDC Command on Monday in Rivers.
Kabir said the suspects were arrested during a patrol of Krakrama Waterways to combat illegal oil bunkering in Rivers.
“The arrests were made in line with the strategic mandate on zero tolerance for crude oil and other petroleum products theft.
“NNS Pathfinder’s Tactical Response and Assault Squadron intercepted a boat with 11 persons on board during a patrol around Krakrama Creeks on Jan. 23,” he said.
He cautioned oil thieves to relocate from Rivers as men of NNS Pathfinder were gaining ground to arrest and bring them to justice.
According to him, the Navy was aware of attempts by criminal elements to discredit the security outfit to have the freedom to continue in their illicit operations.
“The base will not be deterred by the antics of enemies of the nation in the discharge of its constitutional duties.
“We assure the people of Rivers of our readiness to facilitate a peaceful and secure environment for the conduct of legitimate business activities,” he added.