NIGERIAN Navy said its patrol team deployed by Forward Operation Base, FOB Escravos in Delta State conducted several raids on illegal refinery sites around Jones, Sara and Oporoza Creeks in Warri South LGA of Delta State. During the raids, the team arrested 11 suspects and destroyed 13 ‘Cotonou’ boats laden with suspected stolen crude oil. Naval spokesman, Commodore Christian Ezekobe confirmed in a statement yesterday that the team
also recovered two speed boats and a Cotonou boat carrying 20 tanks of different capacities measuring a total of 160,000 litres of illegally refined Automotive Gas oil, AGO. He said the development was in continuation of the Chief of the Naval Staff’s campaign tagged ‘Ops Zero Crude Oil Theft, Zero COT,’ through which more illegal refineries had been destroyed in the Niger Delta region. Other items recovered from the criminals include six outboard engines and four pumping machines.
In a similar operation conducted by NNS PATHFINDER in Rivers State, patrol teams intercepted and destroyed some speed boats and several drums of illegally refined AGO mostly around Onne in Rivers State. Specifically six speed boats conveying about 30 drums of various sizes laden with illegally refined AGO were destroyed between 10 and 11 September 2016. The statement said the arrested suspects are being interrogated and would be handed over to the appropriate prosecuting agency for further action. Nigerian Pilot recalls that the navy in its continued efforts to eliminate unwholesome activities perpetrated by criminals in the Niger Delta earlier arrested one of the top leaders of a group which goes by the name Bakassi Strike Force, BSF. The suspected militant, Uduak Etim Thompson, aka SANGATA, was arrested on September 12 at his hideout in Calabar by a joint team from Nigerian Navy Ship VICTORY and Defence Intelligence Agency. In a related development, the patrol team deployed by Naval Outpost, NOP, Ikuru, arrested four suspected notorious sea robbers who were alleged to be responsible for several attacks and robbery incidences at Oyorokoro, Ataba, Kaa and Oyorokoro communities in Andoni Local Government Area of Rivers State. According to the statement, the gang was alleged to have particularly attacked market women on September 4 this year at Oyorokoro community. “These arrests bring to fore the commitment of the Nigerian Navy and other security agencies to stamp out the menace of criminal brigandage in the region. Investigation into these untoward activities has commenced and the perpetrators will be handed over to prosecuting agencies for further action,” Ezekobe stated.