|A Nigerian Oil Vessel|
The Nigerian military yesterday announced that it seized an oil vessel suspected to be carrying stolen petroleum products in Yenogoa, capital city of Bayelsa state, one of the states in the oil rich Niger Delta region. The Nigerian President is from Bayelsa State.
A military spokesman, Timothy Antigha, told news reporters that "These suspects, who were nabbed by our patrol teams at River Akassa were in the process of loading this vessel with illegally refined petroleum products. Presently, the oil vessel is detained at the government jetty in Yenagoa,"
The spokesman further said that fourteen boats that were positioned to offload the stolen petroleum products were also seized in the operation which took place last Thursday.
It will be noted that the military in the last few months had arrested several persons in the region, suspected to be oil thieves and had also destroyed a number of illegal refineries.
Illegal oil bunkering operators backed by influential Nigerians, senior military and security personnel have reportedly been having field days in the restive region. The military and security agencies have however been denying complicity in the racket.
These products are usually sold in the black market.