The Navy formation in Port Harcourt, on Tuesday, said it arrested 16 persons in connection with the theft of oil and other maritime offences.
Executive Officer of Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Pathfinder, Captain Adegoke Ebo, made this known while handing over the suspects to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Onne.
He said that the suspects were caught stealing 224,000 litres of diesel and extorting money from unsuspecting members of the public for enlistment into “Merchant Navy’’.
Ebo said that troops on routine patrol of creeks and waterways in Rivers, caught 14 men on board three vessels while they were trans-shipping petroleum products without permit.
The naval boss said that after the seizure and arrest, the vessels and suspects were taken to naval holding bay in Onne.
He also said that two other suspects were arrested for presenting themselves as operatives of the proscribed merchant navy and attempting to swindle residents of the state.