The foreigners are being held on courtroom orders following their arraignment in an area courtroom within the oil-rich Niger Delta area, in accordance with Nigerian Navy spokesman Commodore Adedotun Ayo-Vaughan.
Among the foreigners have been arraigned on Tuesday after being charged with an “try to deal in export (of) crude oil with out license or authorization.” They included 16 Indians and nationals from 5 different international locations together with Sri Lanka and Poland, Ayo-Vaughan mentioned.
Foreigners accused of illegally working in Nigeria’s maritime territory have been arrested previously and analysts say they usually work in connivance with native residents.
Nigeria loses an estimated 470,000 barrels of crude oil per day to persistent theft and pipeline vandalism, in accordance with specialists. Safety forces have in latest months intensified a clampdown on culprits and the intelligence required to uncover their actions “is being sustained,” mentioned Ayo-Vaughan.
Within the newest incident, a ship registered in Marshal Island with a capability to hold 3 million barrels illegally entered Nigeria’s waters on August 7, officers mentioned.
Nigerian authorities mentioned the captain confirmed that “his vessel was with out related clearance to function within the area” however subsequently “declined” a request to comply with a Nigerian Navy ship. As a substitute, officers mentioned it made “a false piracy assault name” and “engaged full pace southwards in direction of the Sao Tome and Principe maritime space in a bid to evade arrest.”
“We’re nonetheless conserving good surveillance in addition to presence by the patrol of our ships within the waters and we even have a subregional and worldwide partnership to proceed to uncover this sort of criminality of worldwide dimension,” mentioned Ayo-Vaughan.