…Immobilize illegal refineries, storage facilities, seize 40 Speed Boats.

By Kingsley Omonobi

Following the determination of the leadership of the Nigerian Navy to checkmate activities of economic saboteurs and maritime criminality, Special Forces in Operation’s Dakatar Da Barawo, Calm Waters 2 and Tri-Partite Joint Border Patrol have busted/foiled attempts to steal crude oil products worth over #2.7billion.

During the operations, 5 Illegal Refining Sites, 14 Storage Tanks, 80 Wooden Boats, 22 Ovens, 40 Speed Boats, 2 Vehicles, 1 tanker, 1 truck, 1 barge and a Toyota Sienna were arrested/recovered.

A breakdown of the recovered/seized products showed that Crude Oil accounted for 2, 30million litres valued at over #594million (N594,335,343.36);

AGO accounted for over 2.6million litres, 2, 642,000, valued at over #28million (N28,250,000) and other recoveries bringing the total value of product’s denied oil thieves to N2,789,025,343.36 (Two Billion, Seven Hundred Eighty Nine Million, Twenty Five Thousand, Three Hundred and Forty Three Naira Thirty Six Kobo.)

Making this known in a statement, Director of Naval Information, Commodore AO Ayo-Vaughan said several Illegal Refining Sites (IRS), metal storage tanks, wooden boats, dugout pits and ovens were destroyed by the Navy in Rivers, Delta, Bayelsa, Cross Rivers

“On 14 June 2022, Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Pathfinder in Rivers state intercepted and seized 2 wooden boats at Rumoparale within Port Harcourt channel.

“The boats were laden with about 200,000 litres of illegally refined AGO. Accordingly, the boats and products were destroyed.

“Similarly, NNS Victory in Cross Rivers state intercepted and impounded 3 wooden boats laden with drums of suspected illegally refined PMS around Ikang channel, suspected to be transported to Cameroon. The boats and products are in custody.    

“Also,  Forward   Operating   Base   (FOB)   Bonny   in   Rivers   State  intercepted 2 wooden boats laden with about 400,000 litres of suspected stolen crude oil at Iwokiri. The wooden boats and products were destroyed.

“On 15  June   2022,  NNS   Pathfinder arrested  one wooden   boat laden  with about 450,000 litres of suspected illegally refined AGO at Choba within Port Harcourt Channel. The boat and products were destroyed appropriately.

“Also, the patrol team located and deactivated an IRS which had 8 metal storage tanks with about 400,000litres of suspected stolen crude oil and 4 metal storage tanks containing about 200,000litres of illegally refined AGO as well as one metal storage tank filled with about 50,000litres of suspected  illegally refined DPK.

“The products were destroyed accordingly. Similarly, NNS Soroh in Bayelsa State intercepted a wooden boat laden with about60,000 litres of suspected illegally refined AGO. The boat and contents were destroyed.

“Also, a reactivated IRS at Okubotuwo Camp, Brass LGA was discovered with one oven, one dug-out  pit, and 3 metal tanks cumulatively filled with about  40,000 litres of suspected illegally   refined AGO and 10,000 litres of   suspected stolen crude oil.

Additionally,   a   wooden   boat   containing   unspecified   quantity   of   crude oil was also discovered.  All   were handled appropriately.  

“Furthermore, the team located   and deactivated another IRS within same vicinity. The site had 3 metal storage tanks filled with about 50,000 litres of suspected stolen crude oil and illegally refined AGO respectively. 

 “Additionally, one wooden boat laden with unspecified quantity of suspected stolen crude oil was discovered and handled appropriately.

“Relatedly, NNS Delta in Warri, Delta State intercepted 2 speedboats cumulatively laden with about 2000 litres of suspected illegally refined AGO around Isaba Community in Warri South LGA.

“Also, the team located and deactivated an IRS around Benett Island in Warri South LGA. The site had 15 metal storage tanks and 7 ovens cumulatively filled with about 25,000 litres   of   suspected stolen crude oil and 100,000 litres of illegally refined AGO.

“On 16 June 2022, NNS Delta located an IRS around Okpobene Creek in Warri South-West LGA. During the raid, 7 ovens and 12 metal storage tanks cumulatively laden with about 120,000 litres of suspected stolen crude oil and about 190,000 litres of suspected   illegally refined AGO were destroyed. 

“Additionally,  an  IRS around  KohCreek in Warri South LGA with 5 metal storage tanks, 2 ovens and 5 pits cumulatively laden with about 150,000 litres of suspected stolen crude oil and about 70,000 litres of suspected illegally refined AGO was deactivated. 

“Also, one wooden boat was discovered and destroyed. FOB Escravos in Delta State located a reactivated IRS at Agor in Warri Southwest LGA. The site had 3 pits, 8 ovens and 12 metal storage tanks cumulatively filled with about 215,000   litres of suspected stolen crude oil   which were handled appropriately.

“On 17 June 2022, NNS Pathfinder arrested and destroyed a wooden boat laden with about 60,000   litres  of   illegally refined AGO  along   Isaka  Axis, Port Harcourt Channel.

“Also, NNS Delta seized a Tanker and a wooden boat at a jetty around Oghara Market in Ethiope West LGA. The tanker was receiving about 30,000 litres of suspected illegally refined AGO from the wooden boat.

“Accordingly, the truck and boat were destroyed. Furthermore, 5 suspects and a wooden boat laden with about 70,000litres of  suspected illegally   refined AGO were apprehended   under   Kiama  bridge.

“Additionally, a Toyota Sienna Vehicle in the same location was seized. The suspects, vehicle and items are currently in the custody of NNS Soroh while the boat was destroyed accordingly. In a similar development, an open truck laden with about 500sacks of suspected crude oil was impounded without its occupants along new expressway in Yenagoa.

“The  truck and its content  were also destroyed accordingly. Similarly,   an   IRS   at   Emenudong   creek,   Ataba   in   Andoni LGA Rivers State  was discovered and deactivated. The site had 4 metal storage tanks filled with about 250,000litres suspected illegally refined AGO.

“Furthermore, the team discovered and destroyed a   barge   laden   with   about   200,000  litres   of  suspected   illegally   refined  AGO  and  2 wooden boats laden with about 180,000 litres of suspected stolen crude oil.

“On 18 June 2022, NNS Pathfinder intercepted and destroyed a wooden boat laden with about 500,000litres of suspected stolen crude oil at Mingidukuri River and another wooden boat laden with about 200,000 litres of illegally refined AGO.

“Furthermore, on the same day the team discovered an illegal crude oil loading point at Eroton creek, Cawthorne channel with a wooden boat taking in crude oil from a well head. The boat could not be moved due to safety concerns. However, the Base established a guard post at the entrance of the creek to deny miscreants access to the well head.

“Furthermore, NNS Delta located and destroyed a wooden boat laden with about 20,000 litres of illegally refined AGO along Sara Creek in Warri Southwest LGA.On 19 June 2022, NNS Delta located 3 IRS around Opumami Creek in Warri South LGA.

“Accordingly, 2 metal storage tanks, 5 ovens and 7 dugout pits cumulatively laden with about 120,000 litres of suspected stolen crude oil were destroyed. Equally, a boat was discovered  within the vicinity  and   was   destroyed. 

“On   the   same   day,   the   Base located and deactivated 2 IRS at Atumakiri. The sites had about 10 ovens and 15 metal storage tanks cumulatively filled with about 450,000 litres suspected illegally refined AGO and 350,000 litres of suspected stolen crude oil.

“Furthermore, the Base intercepted and destroyed a wooden boat laden with unspecified quantity of suspected stolen crude oilin a creek at Adiakwo and Ugbunku.

“In another development, Op Calm Waters II (OCW) and Op Tri-Partite Joint Border Patrol (TJBP) were sustained   during the period.

“Accordingly, on 15 June 2022, FOB Igbokoda in Ondo State intercepted and seized Toyota Camry with and a Nissan Primera along Mahim and Ugbonla junction Ilage LGA of Ondo State.

“The vehicles were discovered to be carrying a total of 84 x 25 litre jerry   cans containing illegally refined AGO.  The  vehicles and  products are in the custody of FOB Igbokoda for further investigation.

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