The Nigerian Navy, Forward Operation Base (FOB) in Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa has handed over impounded Barge Podium of vessel to the officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The Commanding Officer, Navy Capt. Adamu Yahaya handed over the vessel on behalf of the Command to EFCC on Wednesday in Formoso, Egwuama of Brass area.
Yahaya said the impounded vessel was laden with unspecified quantities of product suspected to be illegally refined Automated Gasoline Oil (AGO).
He said the vessel was seized in May 2017, at a creek in Alaki area of Rivers State.
The Commanding Officer explained that the suspects on board ship flew away on sighting the Navy gunboat.
Yahaya said the handing over of the seized vessel to EFCC was in line with directives from the Naval headquarters.
“The Nigerian Navy has been given the mandate to apprehend any ship suspected to be carrying out illegalities in the Nigerian maritime domain.
“However, by law, we are not allowed to carry out prosecution of offenders.
“We are directed to hand over seized vessels to the EFCC for further investigations and possible prosecution,” he said.
Mr Abdullahi Musa, a Senior Detective Superintendent, and leader of the EFCC team from Port Harcourt Zonal office, assured that the commission would conduct thorough investigation on the matter.
“We will carry out thorough investigation with a view to determining the level of involvement, content of the vessel and prosecution of those involved in the crime,” he said.
The officials of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) took samples of the content of the vessel for further laboratory analysis.