By Dayo Johnson – Akure
Twenty four suspected oil bunkerers have been arrested by the anti patrol team of the Nigerian Navy in Ondo state.
The Commanding Officer of the Forward Operating Base, FOB of the Nigerian Navy in Igbokoda, Ondo State, Captain, Navy Shaibu Mohammed Ahmed said six boats loaded with over 100,000 litres of Automotive Gas Oil, popularly known as diesel along Ondo/Lagos coastal axis were also intercepted.
Parading the suspects and the intercepted boats, the Commanding Officer, Ahmed said six boats carrying illegally refined crude oil, were owned by bunkerers.
“One of the boats contains 150 drums of two hundred and fifty litres of refined Automotive Gas Oil, popularly called diesel.
” Another wooden boat containing 16 tanks of 4,500 litres of diesel was also intercepted.
“Other boats seized by the Navy were full of empty drums.
“In order to effectively curb illegal oil bunkering, sea piracy, kidnapping and other criminal activities in Ilaje and Ese-Odo Local Government Areas of Ondo State, the Forward Operating Base, FOB of the Nigerian Navy in Igbokoda, instituted a continuous surveillance on the creeks and coastal areas.
“This effort yielded a positive result, with the latest operation carried out along the Ondo/Lagos coastal axis.
“Some of the suspects said their boats were hired by the bunkerers, while some admitted their involvement in the illegal business.
The Commanding Officer sought meaningful information from residents, that could lead to curbing all forms of economic sabotage in the area.
He added, the operation base will continue to work in line with its mandate of ensuring a secured maritime environment.