The Nigerian Navy Forward Operating Base (FOB), Ibaka, Mbo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom, has arrested three suspects over illegal bunkering of diesel worth N23 million.

The Commanding Officer, FOB, Capt. Yusuf Idris, disclosed this while handing over the suspects to the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), in Ibaka on Sunday.

“I will like to hand over three suspects arrested by our men and patrol team on Wednesday, March 6, at about 2000 hours.

“They were caught in a boat with products suspected to be illegally refined AGO with about 406 drums in it. Other items in the boat including five outboard engines and four pumping machines were also recovered from the suspects.

“The Nigerian Navy is all out to pursue illegalities wherever they are and arrest the perpetrators of those crimes in our maritime domain.

“We have made several arrests and we keep making, hoping that one day, perhaps, they will yield to the advice that we always give, that they embrace a reliable and genuine way of livelihood,” he said.

One of the suspects, Mr Wisdom Effiong, an indigene of Mbo Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom, who claimed it was his first time in illegal bunkering, said he brought in the seized products from Rivers state.

“I don’t know that the products are contraband because this is my first time to join this business.

“I started this business since November 2017 when I lost my motorcycle at gun point to thieves.

“I have not been working. I was a motorcycle rider and I have family responsibilities to take care of. One Mr Antai sent me to bring in the products from Rivers state,” Effiong said. (NAN)

The Navy has warned those engaging in illegitimate businesses in the nation’s waterways of the command’s determination to terminate their illegal ventures.