The Nigerian Navy is clamping down on crude oil thieves in the Niger Delta as part of a massive operation to mitigate the effect of crude oil theft on the economy.
The Navy’s operation tagged Operation DAKATAR DA BARAWO (OPDDB) has recorded large success in Bayelsa, Delta, Akwa- Ibom and Rivers States.
According to a statement by Commodore A.O Ayo- Vaughan, the Forward Operation Base(FOB), Formoso, in Bayelsa State acting on intelligence raided Funnu Fishing Camp in Akassa, Brass Local Government Area.
During the raid, it uncovered a dugout pit containing about 1,258bbls of stolen crude oil and immediately deactivated it.
Similarly, Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS), Soroh in Yenagoa, Yenagoa Local Government Area, following a tip off, uncovered two stores and assembly points used by illegal oil bunkerers at Onimbu and Ayama communities.
The NNS uncovered 6,000 litres of AGO, arrested three trucks each laden with 35,000 litres of illegally refined AGO.
Commodore Ayo- Vaughan disclosed further that NNS Delta at Asugbo Creek in Warri deactivated an Illegal Refining Site (IRS) with about 50,000 litres of suspected stolen crude oil and 150,000 litres of suspected sludge.
According to him, NNS Delta also deactivated an IRS around Egwa Creek in Warri laden with 250,000 litres of stolen crude and about 30,000 litres of illegally refined AGO.
NNS Jubilee in Akwa- Ibom intercepted and arrested a wooden boat with 100 drums and sacks of petroleum products estimated at about 33,000 litres of suspected illegally refined AGO.
In Rivers State, the Navy said NNS Pathfinder at Port Harcourt arrested nine wooden boats at Andoki Bille, discovered IRS, and arrested two Starz marine boats named Doroh 1 and Doroh 2 for providing illegal escort in Bonny.
Also, another naval ship MV Aba, intercepted a Motor Vessel (MV) Royal Diadem, loaded with suspected illegal refined AGO.
Commodore Ayo- Vaughan noted that the efforts of the Navy has already denied oil thieves of stealing 200 Million and $700,000 worth of petroleum products in two weeks, said the Navy is determined to ensure the maintenance of its zero tolerance of stealing of crude oil and other related economic crimes.
He warned economic saboteurs and their sponsors to desist from their unpatriotic and criminal acts before the law catches up with them.