Men of the Anti-Crude Oil Theft Patrol Team of the Nigeria Navy Forward Operating Base Igbokoda, Ondo State, said they had arrested and destroyed 15,775 litres of illegally refined automotive gas oil, also known as diesel, in Igbokoda, the headquarters of Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State, on Sunday.
The military also said the destroyed product seized from oil thieves was worth millions of naira.
The Executive Officer of the Base, Commander Humphrey Nnaji, on behalf of the Commanding Officer, Captain Wasuku Alushi, disclosed this on Sunday.
According to him, the illegal products were destroyed in accordance with the Joint Task Force Operation Delta Safe mandate on COT.
He said, “On credible Intel, the task force moved to sustain the fight against illegal bunkering and in the process, tracked and intercepted a wooden boat, popularly referred to as Cotonou boat laden with crude oil.
“The wooden boat was intercepted about 12NM off the coast of adjoining Ojumole and Obe community in Ilaje Local Government area of Ondo State. On sighting of the Naval personnel, the crew abandoned the boat and fled.”
The commanding officer also reiterated the commitment of the base to stamp out the menace of COT and other crimes in Igbokoda and its environs. He added that the base would intensify its intelligence gathering, surveillance, robust and aggressive maritime, vehicular as well as static deployment of personnel at strategic locations, especially choke points within the Base area of operation.
“So far, within six weeks of the CO’s assumption of command, the base has made great strides in the arrest and destruction of illegally refined products, all in accordance with OPDS directive/mandate.
“On 13 October 23, 2023, a wooden boat laden with about 2000 litres of suspected illegally refined crude products was intercepted and destroyed at Awoye. In another operation on same day, based on credible intelligence, the base discovered an illegal storage site with approximately 5000 litres of illegal products at Ugbo-Nla, which was destroyed in accordance with OPDS directives.
“In furtherance of the Base operations against COT, on 27 Oct 23, the Base stormed an IRS at Obe- Akinboye in Obenla community, which was observed to be under reactivation for illegal refining of illegally refined AGO which was also destroyed in accordance with the mandate. On 30 October the Base also discovered a storage facility for illegal refined products at old market road Igbokoda with 11 by 25 litres containers of illegally refined products totalling 275 litres”, he stated.