Oil theft: Vessels are destroyed by military to cover-up evidence — Ned Nwoko

Sen. Ned Nwoko (PDP-Delta), the vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment, claims that the military destroys ships that are captured transporting contraband and stolen crude oil in order to hide or obscure evidence.

Nwoko made these remarks in an interview with the Nigerian News Agency (NAN) in Abuja.

He emphasized that unless the people supposed to stop the crime were complicit and compromised, it makes no sense to delete evidence that may be used to prove the crime was done.

“What is the point? It does not make any sense.

“You know, if somebody is found in possession of stolen goods, do you say, oh, the way to deal with this is to destroy it? No. You take it from them, you document it, you preserve it, you charge the culprits.

“And then you produce that in evidence against them in court and ultimately return that product to the owner,” he said.

The lawmaker, who is also a member of the Senate Committee, Upstream Petroleum, added that the only reason the military destroyed vessels apprehended for crude oil theft/lifting was to destroy evidence because there was a compromise.

“Well, I think the military is complicit. You know they do this because some of them might have compromised.

“They have been bought over because to load this kind of commodity vessels- the crude – it takes weeks sometimes because of the size of the vessels, it takes time.

“So it’s not as if you just come one hour, you load it, and then you run. So it takes time to get to the point of loading, and most of them are actually loaded from the official platforms.

“So who are those involved? Who are those managing those platforms? The oil companies, The producing companies, NNPC officials, the police, may be all of them are involved,” he added.

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