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EFCC probes ownership of seized barges

The Principal Detective Superintendent of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Ani Davis, said on Tuesday the commission had launched an investigation into the ownership of four massive barges allegedly transporting stolen crude oil in the state.

Davis, who disclosed this to journalists in Onne, after receiving the four barges and petroleum product from the Nigerian Navy, said the latest seizure added to many other cases that the EFCC had received from the Navy following collaboration by both outfits.

The barges laden with adulterated diesel worth millions of naira were seized by a naval patrol gunboat recently.

He said: “The Nigerian Navy has continued to demonstrate to us its readiness to end maritime crimes with the recent seizure of four barges laden with huge quantity of petroleum product.

“We have taken over the case and we want to assure the public that the EFCC will conduct thorough investigation, with intent to prosecute anyone linked to the barges.”

The EFCC official said the activities of criminals on the nation’s maritime environment are capable of destroying the nation’s economy if left unchecked.

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He added: “So, investigation will be speedily conducted to unravel the identity of the fleeing owners of the barges for trial in court, irrespective of their status in the society.

“If found culpable in illegal bunkering, the barges and petroleum product will be forfeited to the Federal Government.”

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