Seven suspects said to have been linked with recent bombing of oil and gas pipelines in the Niger Delta are at present being interrogated by the Nigerian Navy.
They were said to have been arrested by the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) DELTA over various criminal activities in the coastal region of Delta.
Muhammed Garba, Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Central Naval Command, said on Wednesday at the Warri Naval Base that the suspects were apprehended in the last one week in Batan community and environs, Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta.
He said five others were yet to be interrogated, while seven Cotonou boats and 490 metric tons of illegally refined diesel were also apprehended in the period.
Garba said five of them were interrogated for alleged involvement in the recent bombing of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) installations.
The Naval boss explained that one of the suspects was involved in the alleged killing of two soldiers on May 10 in Batan community, while the last suspect was being quizzed for extortion.
He said that the suspects would be handed over to the relevant authority for prosecution after the preliminary investigation by the navy.
A roll of cable, car battery and dynamites recovered from the suspects were also displayed during the briefing.
While stressing the determination of his men in combating crime, the FOC said the activities of the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) would not deter the Command from carrying out its statutory obligations of providing security in the territorial waterways.
He said that the Command had made “tremendous achievement” in recent times.
“The Central Naval Command has made a lot of progress relating to pipeline vandalism, sea robbery and attacks on ships.
“The Command’s operation has resulted in the seizure of five vessels, a tug boat, five barges and 72 Cotonou boats and were consequently destroyed.
“Others include the seizure of 22 speed boats and destruction of 73 illegal refineries, 154 crude oil pits, 531 surface tanks.
Garba said the command was determined to protect the maritime domain against criminal activities.
“We will continue to protect lives and properties and also ensure safety in the maritime domains for economic activities to thrive,’’ he said.
Garba warned criminals operating in the creeks to desist, adding that the command was poised to rid the waterways of criminals and saboteurs.
“They knew that if they have been caught with those items on board, there will be no excuse for them and they quickly threw them overboard, my men got divers to recover them from the sea bed,’’ he said.