Indian, 17 others nabbed for illegal bunkering in Nigeria

Abuja: An Indian sailor and 17 others have been nabbed by the Nigerian Navy over an attempt to illegally export stolen crude oil to Ghana, the navy said on Wednesday.

The suspects and vessels have been handed over to the police at the naval base in Nigeria’s oil hub Port Harcourt, to enable further investigations on the suspects, said Capt. Adegoke Ebo, Executive Officer of the Nigerian Navy Ship Pathfinder, the Xinhua news agency reported.

According to him, the suspects were on the verge of moving the crude oil to Ghana before they were arrested by naval forces.

One of the suspects, a Nigerian, had been actively involved in sourcing crude oil from Nigerian creeks and shipping it to Platon Gas Oil Refinery in Ghana’s Tema, without clearance and approval, the military officer said.

“Additionally, the evidence available to us suggests that the illicit crime had been going on for a while,” Ebo said.

One of the suspects has disclosed names of his accomplices and facilitators as well as presented evidence and proof to the illicit trading.