From Molly Kilete, Abuja
The Nigerian Navy said its troops engaged in Operation ”Dakatar Da Barawo” in the Niger Delta Region have confiscated illegally refined products and stolen crude oil worth N2.7billion and arrested five suspected oil thieves in the month of June.
This is just as the Navy, said its platforms deployed for ‘Operation Dakatar Da Barawo, Calm Waters 11’ and Tripartite Joint Border Patrol have continued to sustain aggressive patrols to curb the menace of crude oil theft and illegal oil bunkering in the nations maritime environment.
Director Naval Information, Commodore Adedotun Ayo-Vaughan, made this known in a statement issued in Abuja.
He said several Illegal Refining Sites (IRS), metal storage tanks, wooden boats, dugout pits and ovens were destroyed between June 13 and June 19, while 80 storage tanks, 22 wooden boats, 40 ovens , two speed boats, a tanker, truck, barge and a Toyota Sienna car were recovered during during the period.
He further stated that a wooden boat laden with about 60,000 litres of suspected illegally refined AG, intercepted Navy ship SOROH in Bayelsa was destroyed alongside its contents.
The Navy spokesman while noting that another Navy ship VICTORY in Cross River intercepted and impounded three wooden boats laden with drums of suspected illegally Refined Petrol (PMS) around Ikang channel suspected to be transported to Cameroon, said the boats and its products were taken into custody.
He said “Forward Operating Base (FOB) Bonny in Rivers” also intercepted two wooden boats laden with about 400,000 litres of suspected stolen crude oil at Iwokiri.
“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 400,000 litres of suspected stolen crude oil and 4 metal storage tanks containing about 200,000 litres of illegally refined AGO as well as one metal storage tank filled with about 50,000 litres of suspected illegally refined DPK. The products were destroyed accordingly. Similarly, NNS SOROH in Bayelsa State intercepted a wooden boat laden with about 60,000 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.”