The Nigerian Navy on Sunday said it discovered a metal Barge MV JOSH 1 and a wooden boat drifting along Bolo Creek in Rivers and recovered them on Jan. 29 .
Navy spokesman, Commodore Suleman Dahun, announced this in a statement in Abuja.
” 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.
“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 maybe, 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.
” 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.
” Consequently, owners of the vessels are advised to come forward and reclaim the vessel, failing which it will be handed over to the EFCC to obtain forfeiture order.”