The Nigerian Navy yesterday said it arrested about 30 ships allegedly involved in illegal bunkering within the nation’s territorial waters in the past 11 months.
It added that about seven suspects arrested aboard one of the oil tankers are serving eight-year jail term each.
Flag Officer Commanding , Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Amin Ikioda, while addressing newsmen aboard NNS Nwanba at the end of a three day sea exercise, said efforts of the Navy at eliminating criminal activities on the nation’s waters led to the arrest of a number of vessels.
He said two of the arrested ships have been forfeited to the Federal Government. He gave the names of those that have been forfeited as: MT KUA and MT HOPE.
“Both vessels have been forfeited to the Federal Government on the orders of the Federal High Court. While the seven accused persons aboard HOPE were sentenced to 8 years imprisonment for bunkering and related offences,” he said.
He warned ship owners and charterers who connive with criminals to desist from doing so, saying any vessel arrested for involvement in criminal activities will be arrested and the owner handed over to the appropriate agency for prosecution.