- Navy recovers metal Barge MV JOSH 1 and a wooden boat containing substances suspected to be stolen crude oil and product suspected to be illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil.
- Navy calls on the owner to come forward and claim to avoid forfeiture order of the court.
The Nigerian Navy has discovered a metal Barge MV JOSH 1 and a wooden boat drifting along Bolo Creek in Rivers state and recovered them on Jan. 29 .
Navy spokesman, Commodore Suleman Dahun, in a statement in Abuja on Sunday said the barge and wooden boat were laden with an estimated 900,000 litres of a substance suspected to be stolen crude oil and 2,500 litres of product suspected to be illegally refined AGO (Automotive Gas Oil) .
”There were no suspects onboard the vessels at the time of the recovery. In accordance with Part 6 Paragraph 17 of the Harmonised Standard Operating Procedures on Arrest, Detention and Prosecution (HSOP-AD&P) of Vessels and Persons”, the Navy would apply the appropriate action.
The Navy therefore said owners of the vessels are to note that in the event of failure to reclaim seized and detained vessels for a period of 12 months, the Agency in Custody of the seized items as the case may be, shall reserve the power to obtain an order of forfeiture and disposal from a court of competent jurisdiction.
“Accordingly, the public is hereby notified that the Nigerian Navy will keep the barge and wooden boat in its custody for a period of 6 months effective from the day of recovery,” part of the statement reads.
It added that at the expiration of the 6 months period, it will hand over the vessels to the EFCC to obtain forfeiture order in accordance with the law in the absence of any claim of its ownership.
”It, therefore, advised owners of the vessels to come forward and reclaim the vessel, failing which it will be handed over to the EFCC to obtain forfeiture order.