Oil Theft: Navy impounds vessels, arrests crew members
Operatives of Nigerian Navy’s “Operation Dakatar Da Barawo’’ (OPDDB) have seized several ships and wooden boats engaged in crude oil theft.
Director of Information, Naval Headquarters, Adedotun Ayo-Vaughan, in a statement issued on Sunday, said operatives also arrested their crew members and illegal crude oil refiners.
Mr Ayo-Vaughan stated that the Nigerian Navy Ship Pathfinder intercepted nine huge Cotonou-carved wooden boats laden with illegally-refined diesel at Andoki, in the creeks on April 5.
Also, operatives seized cooking pots, tanks and reservoirs from an illegal crude oil refining site at Ketoru Creek.
He added that the NNS Pathfinder also impounded two boats used in providing illegal escort services to oil thieves within the Bonny maritime area.
“On April 7, NNS Aba intercepted a vessel, MV Royal Diadem, laden with suspected illegally-refined diesel in Bonny area and arrested the crew,’’ he stated.
He said that NNS Delta had located a vessel laden with about 520,000 litres of suspected stolen crude oil and seized it around Opumani and Asukpo Creeks in Warri.
At Egwa Creek, also in the Warri area, a vessel observed to contain several metallic ovens and storage tanks was destroyed.
On April 11, operatives raided Fununu Fishing Camp in Akassa, Bayelsa, suspected to be a hideout for pirates and for illegal refining of petroleum products.
“On April 15, NNS Soroh discovered two stores and assembly points used by illegal bunkerers at Onimbu and Ayama communities in Bayelsa and recovered 6,000 litres of diesel,’’ he added.
Meanwhile, in Akwa-Ibom, NNS Jubilee intercepted a wooden boat laden with about 100 drums and sacks of products estimated at about 33,000 litres of illegally refined diesel.
Mr Ayo-Vaughan explained that the arrests and seizures had so far denied oil thieves and criminals about N200 million and 700,000 dollars income in two weeks.
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