FORMER Minister of Interior and owner of integrated Oil and Gas Limited Captain Emmanuel Iheanacho was yesterday arrested over his involvement in the hijack of a vessel\M.T. Grace' laden with suspected stolen petroleum products.
Disclosing this to newsmen in Lagos, Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Mr. Patrick Akpobolokemi said that the search for the sponsors of these pirates has led to the tracing of the stolen products to integrated oil and gas tank farm.
Akpobolokemi who represented by NIMASA's Executive Director in charge of maritime labour services and Cabotage Barr. Obi Nwabueze said that the premises of integrated has been sealed off pending investigation.
He said NIMASA has come to the realisation that behind the facade there are the kingpins and the big men who facilitate piracy adding the agency in collaboration with other security operatives will unravel the people behind the sale, purchase and storage of the stolen products.
"You recalled we had cause to parade some pirates here and we did say that we were going to continue to look for those who were behind these pirates because we came to the realisation that behind the facade there are the kingpins and the big men who facilitate piracy.
"So in line with our promise to the Nigerian public, we intensified our search for the big men behind the scene and we are happy to tell you today that we have been able to trace them to a company, a major company integrated oil and gas.
"The products that were stolen from the activities of piracy were conveyed and stored at integrated oil and gas. As we speak we have sealed off the company and we have arrested the top management of the company."