By Innocent Anaba
The anti-bunkering team of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, in collaboration with soldiers of the 19 Battalion, Koko Barracks, Warri North LGA, Delta State, have destroyed four large boats.
The boats were recently caught loaded with smuggled crude oil and petroleum by-products in the Bini and Escravos rivers, in the state.
Head of the state’s IPMAN anti-bunkering unit, Wilfred Elebiri, who led the operation, said the boats were caught during their three-day operation to sanitise the coastal areas and waterways across the state of all forms of oil theft.
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He added: “We will continue the operations with all vigour until no form of oil theft is found in Delta State.
“We acted on intelligence reports during the first two days of the operation and after exploring a great measure of the coastal areas and waterways in Benin and Escravos rivers.
“We found various hideouts and locations where activities of petroleum products thieves and smugglers are carried out and on the third day we synergised with soldiers of the Nigeria Army, 19 Battalion, Koko, and we burnt four large loaded boats.
“We want to warn all those who engage in illegal petroleum products bunkering to steer clear from Delta State. We are fully ready and willing to deal with them any time, any day. Illegal oil bunkering activities in Delta State’s coastal areas and waterways is highly prohibited.”