October 14, 2016

Navy impounds barge with 120,000 litres of illegal crude

Crude oil

By Jimitota Onoyume

PORT HARCOURT—THE Nigerian Navy has impounded a barge containing about 120,000 litres of alleged illegal crude oil at Elem Kalabari in Akuku Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State.

Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Naval Command, Rear Admiral James Oluwole, who disclosed this to newsmen, yesterday, said crew members of the barge escaped, adding that more House boats would be set up on the waterways to enhance sea patrol by men of the Navy.

He said that the barge was impounded on Wednesday by his men on sea patrol, adding that the choke points strategy adopted by the Navy was yielding commendable result in the fight against oil theft.

He said: “Naval troops manning our maritime security stations (house boat) on Wednesday around 2a.m., intercepted and impounded a metallic barge laden with about 120,000 litres of crude oil suspected to be stolen.

“Troops were unable to arrest crew members on board the barge as they fled the scene on sighting advancing naval gunboats.

“This interception is a testament to success of our choke point strategy which involves positioning of troops on flash points for quick response to situations.

“This strategy and other security measures recently put in place curtailed spate of attacks on oil and gas installations, piracy and other criminality in our maritime environment.”