By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, have arrested an oil vessel off-loading products suspected to be Automated Gas Oil (AGO) along Eagle Island in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The arrest, made on Thursday December 1, was made possible by high-level intelligence and surveillance by the EFCC. Men and officers of the NNS Pathfinder, Naval Base, Port Harcourt also offered professional support and facilitation of the operation.
The vessel, H.W. BECHMAN, an oil tanker, with Registration Number, 4014030, was caught off-loading products into a Tank Farm housed in the premises of NEPAS Limited in the Iwofe area of Port Harcourt. It was the first- ever oil vessel interception made by the EFCC since its reception.
Preliminary investigations by the EFCC showed that the oil vessel carried products loaded in twelve( 12) compartments.
Seven of the compartments had already been offloaded into the Tank Farm at the point of arrest. Products were still found in five other compartments.
The products were suspected to have been sourced from the proceeds of pipeline vandalisation in the creeks of the Niger Delta.
Operators of the vessel escaped on sighting the EFCC operatives, escaped in a speed boat but a quick response and support by men of the NNS Pathfinder ensured that the oil vessel was not moved.
Several documents were recovered from the vessel and further investigations in the case, are on- going.
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