The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC) has traced the theft of about 1m metric tons of Automated Gas Oil ( AGO) to two highly-placed Nigerians.
The anti-graft agency has uncovered 35 accounts, allegedly belonging to the two highly-placed Nigerians into which proceeds of stolen crude were remitted.
The crew members of the ship allegedly used in the theft escaped arrest by jumping into a gunboat filled with AK47 rifles, it was learnt.
But the EFCC team arrested three workers of the illegal tank farm owners.
According to a top source, who spoke in confidence with the nation, the oil vessel, H.W. BECHMAN (with registration number 4914030) was intercepted on Thursday while discharging products into a tank farm in Iwofe Quarters, Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
A source, who spoke in confidence, said: “The EFCC, in collaboration with the Nigerian Navy, has intercepted a vessel laden with about 1m metric tons of stolen AGO.
“The products were tapped from some burst pipelines in the creeks of the Niger Delta.
“We are on the trail of these highly-placed Nigerians who will soon be interrogated. We will not disclose their identities in order not to jeopardise ongoing investigation.
“But our operatives succeeded in arresting three workers at the tank farm who are helping our detectives.”
“The EFCC will on Monday seek the leave of the court to freeze the 35 accounts pending the conclusion of the ongoing investigation.”
The source added: “Our team discovered that the illegal products were stored in 12 compartments of the vessel out of which seven had been discharged at a tank farm in NEPAS Limited.”
The EFCC has drafted riot policemen to the tank farm to guard the seized vessel.
The EFCC source added: “We have also invited the Department of Petroleum Resources ( DPR) to take a sample of the AGO for laboratory test.
“This is our biggest haul in a vessel. We will bring the perpetrators to