The leader of the pirates arrested last week have named some prominent Nigerians including some traditional ruler as the sponsor of his dare devil team, which he said have attacked 18 vesels killing about 19 naval men in the process.
Aseluwa Oluwariokami, was arrested by a combined team of the Navy, Army, Nimasa and Global west vessel specialists early Thursday morning who had stormed Igbokoda Ondo, the home town of the Aseluwa where they arrested the kingpin of the Nigerian Sea Hijacking syndicate, also known as WAZOBIA, after about 35 minute gun battle.
The combined team shortly after also raided the pirates training camp where they apprehended 13 others after some resistance.
Recovered at the camp were 16 sophisticated weapons, explosive devices, long range high calibre weapons, about 10,000 ammunition of various types and other dangerous items.
Also recovered at the camp was an operational map indicating that the hijackers were planning to launch another vessel attack on the high seas.
The suspects, particularly their leader, it was leant, made stunning revelations.
While spilling the beans, WAZOBIA, mentioned some oil cabals, top government officials, NNPC, top shots, top oil marketers, and particularly three paramount rulers as sponsors and beneficiaries of various hijacking operations carried out by the syndicate so far.
As at the last count, WAZOBIA told the security operatives that he and his men had hijacked close to 20 fully loaded vessels on the high seas, in the last 10 months.
According to prime suspect, no fewer than 24 persons including three foreigners and uniformed men had been killed by the gang.
More shocking is the confession that one of the traditional rulers from the South –West who is believed to own a big storage facility, is not only a sponsor but he (the Oba) and his son, provided them arms and also directly engaged in the sales of the stolen oil from hijacked vessels.
The major suspect, it was learnt, also gave the names of about three other storage facilities where stolen oil were being deposited for onward distribution.
One of the facilities located in Apapa, Lagos, had been sealed up by the government, as its top management staff were arrested and questioned.
Security agents are currently mounting surveillance on the others.
WAZOBIA also stated that the last vessel hijacking operation he took part in with some of his boys, took place about two weeks ago, where he said they killed a foreigner on board and also took some money in hard currencies.
The prime suspect gave the name of the affected vessel as M .T. ROSATOMASSOS.
As a result of pressures from prominent Nigerians to have the suspect released from detention, the military high command has moved the detainees to one of the Brigade commands, in the north.
WAZOBIA disclosed that they often recruited men from neighboring countries like Ghana, bene republic, Togo, Chad, Niger, and Burkina Faso while training often took place in some locations n Nigeria.