Onslaught against crude oil theft gathers steam as Ajube, joint special forces nabs a syndicate in Ondo high sea
The national resolve to end crude oil theft in Nigeria appears to be gathering momentum as Joint Special Forces in Ondo state, on Monday January 17, 2023, nabbed a syndicate that specializes in siphoning crude from Chevron/NNPC rigs on the high sea part of the state.
Leading the special joint military forces through the creeks with his men from Gallery Security services, High Chief Bibopere Ajube, one of the prominent crusaders against crude oil theft in Niger Delta, tracked the evacuation points of the bunkering syndicate within elephant grass.
With Ajube’s experience, two monster boats used for the illicit operations by the syndicate were located at different points where they were hidden within suspended residential raft houses in the Awoye island community.
Through intelligence gathering, he was able to track down the rigs from which the syndicate siphoned illegally crude oil which was on the Atlantic Ocean in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State.
Getting to the rigs tagged: CNL/NNPC JKT 1, CNL/NNPC JKT 2, CNL/NNPC JKT 9 and CNL/NNPC JKT 12, it was discovered that the metal stands of the rigs were conspicuously soaked with crude oil spilt from the hose used by the syndicate.
Returning from the high sea, the team towed the two monster boats from the Awoye community to a safe location within Ilaje Local Government and set them ablaze with the products therein.
The joint forces in seven boats, including three gunboats, navigated through the labyrinth creeks with Ajube directing the sail.
Addressing newsmen, Ajube lamented the activities of the bunkering syndicate, saying the act had undermined the economy of the nation
He said: “We are making efforts to stop bunkering in our state and in the Niger Delta as a whole, though this is tedious and requires a lot of funds to do in terms of fueling the boats and staying on water for several hours to checkmate the perpetrators.
“Here in Ondo State, we talk to our youths not to engage in illegal businesses, we encourage them to exert their energy in businesses that would earn them a living without security agents chasing them around.
“It is unfortunate that people engage in bunkering, a development which has drastically reduced the country’s earnings and forced the government to go into borrowing.
“Our people need to stop this act for our economy to improve through more earnings from the crude oil sales.
“On this discovery, we will have to inform the appropriate quarters to the rigs fixed with a view to preventing the perpetrators from continuing their illegal activities “