Navy seeks Admiralty, Maritime Court for speedy discharge of seized vessels cases

By Kingsley Omonobi

Special Forces of the Nigerian Navy deployed in Nigeria’s Maritime domain in the South – South geo-polical zone in ‘Operation Dakatar Da Barawo’ to checkmate illegal bunkering and crude oil theft, have discovered and deactivated several illegal refining sites and recovered hundreds of litres of stolen crude oil as well as AGO.

Additionally, several vessels used for the economic crimes in various shapes and sizes were arrested, impounded and destroyed while the suspected criminal perpetrators were nabbed.

Confirming the anti-oil theft successes in an update of the operation which was launched two weeks ago, Director of Naval Information, Commodore AO Ayo-Vaughan said, “The offensive against economic sabotage is indicative of the Nigerian Navy’s resolve to ensure zero tolerance for COT, Illegal Bunkering and related economic crimes in the nation’s maritime and South-South geopolitical in particular”.

Recalling that the “Nigerian Navy launched Operation Dakadar Da Barawo (OPDDB) on 1 April 2022 to check increasing Crude Oil Theft (COT) and related acts of economic sabotage in the South – South geopolitical zone, he said several arrests and seizures have been recorded.

“On 5 April 2022, Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Pathfinder at Port-Harcourt intercepted 9 huge (Cotonou’) wooden boats laden with unspecified quantity of illegally refined AGO at Andoki, Bille and other areas within her area of responsibility.

“Additionally, Illegal Refining Sites (IRS) with cooking pots, tanks and reservoirs were discovered at Ketoru Creek.

“The Base also arrested 2 STARZ Marine Boats DOROH 1 and DOROH 2 for providing illegal escort services within the Bonny maritime area without proper approvals.

“Also, on 7 April 2022, NNS Aba intercepted and arrested MV
Royal DiademI which was laden with suspected illegally refined AGO of
unspecified quantity at Bonny area.

“The vessel was unable to provide appropriate documentation at the point of loading, hence MV Royal Diadem is presently undergoing investigation.

“Similarly, NNS Delta at Warri located an IRS around Opumami and Asukpo Creek
laden with about 520,000 litres of suspected stolen crude oil.

“Also, at Egwa creek in Warri area, an IRS observed to contain several metallic ovens and storage tanks was
destroyed.

“In addition, on 11 April 2022, Forward Operation Base (FOB) Formoso acting on intelligence reports raided Fununu Fishing Camp in Akassa, Bayelsa State, a known but suspected hideout for illegal refining operators and sea robbers.

“In the encounter, a dugout pit containing about 1,258 bbls of stolen crude oil was de-activated.

“In the same vein and on the same day, FOB Bonny destroyed a wooden laden boat with unspecified quantities of suspected crude oil at Nabil creek in Rivers State.

“Furthermore, on 15 April 2022, NNS Soroh at Yenagoa discovered 2 stores and assembly points used by illegal bunkerers at Onimbu and Ayama communities subsequently leading to the discovery of 6,000 litres of AGO.

“The Base also arrested 3 trucks each laden with 35,000 litres of suspected illegally refined AGO.

“Equally, NNS Delta at Asugbo Creek in Warri deactivated an IRś with about 50,000 litres of suspected stolen crude oil and 150,000 litres of suspected sludge.

“On the same day also, the Base de-activated an IRS around Egwa creek in Warri laden with 250,000 litres of stolen crude and about 30,000 litres of illegally refined AGO.

“Meanwhile, in Akwa: Ibom state, NNS Jubilee intercepted and arrested a wooden boat laden with about 100 drums and sacks of products estimated at about 33,000 litres of suspected illegally refined AGO.

“These arrests and seizures from the ongoing OPDDB have denied oil thieves and criminals of about #200million and $700,000 worth of products within a period of roughly two weeks.

The Navy added, “Economic saboteurs and their sponsors are therefore warned to desist from these unpatriotic criminal acts.”

Subscribe for latest Videos

Disclaimer

Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.