A man has been arrested in Rivers State for allegedly attempting to bride the Commander of the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Pathfinder with N700,000 to release his seized boat containing 80 drums of illegally refined diesel.
The wooden boat and products were intercepted during a recent operation by the agency.
The man who gave his name as Kenneth Sunday was said to have walked into the NNS Pathfinder barracks in Rumuolumeni area of Obio/Akpor Local Government Area with the money wrapped in a white plastic bag and demanded to see his boat.
He was then asked by a naval officer to identify and inspect the consignment among many others that were displayed at the naval jetty.
On his return from the jetty, the commander who waiting at the jetty, ordered his arrest and immediately paraded him and the money before journalists who had just returned with the naval crew from an operation against illegal oil refining.
The suspect, however, denied that he was at the Navy barracks to bribe the commander and claimed that the boat he inspected was not his, but that of a friend.
Meanwhile, the navy has discovered a community of illegal crude oil refiners in the state, and arrested several suspect
Recall that the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, Rivers State Command had taken delivery of six suspected Vandals and twelve boats laden with illegally refined petroleum products from Nigerian Navy.
The state Commandant, Abu Tambuwal who took delivery of the exhibits during the handover cum courtesy visit at Nigerian Navy Ship, NNS Pathfinder, Rivers State, called for stronger inter-agency alliance among security operatives in the fight against oil theft in the maritime domain.
The suspects and exhibits were handed over to NSCDC for further investigation and prosecution as the agency with the mandate to prosecute perpetrators of oil theft.