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Operation DAKATAR DA BARAWO: Nigerian Navy deny oil thieves crude oil theft worth over 1bn

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Nigeria Navy has arrested and taken into custody, 3 fiber boat operators in Yenagoa and their boats with about 10,000 liters of illegally refined Automotive Gas oil (AGO)

This is continuation with the fight against Crude Oil Theft (COT), Illegal Refining Sites (IRS) and illegal bunkering, by the Nigerian Navy Operation DAKATAR DA BARAWO (OPDDB).

The team also denied oil thieves total value of products worth One Billion Nine Hundred and Ninety-One Million Five Hundred and Twenty Nine Thousand Six Hundred naira only (N1,991,529,600)

According to NN Director of Information, Commodore Ayo-Vaughan, NNS PATHFINDER similarly “uncovered an illegal crude oil loading point at Cawthorne Channel 2, Off new Calabar River. Several wooden boats were apparently siphoning/stealing crude oil from a well head within the vicinity.

“It was further discovered that the supply point serves as the major source of crude oil for the notorious ‘Market Square’. Accordingly, the identified illegal cooking camps and wooden ‘Cotonou’ boats were deactivated. Thereafter, the Base established a waterborne guard post at the point, while awaiting the arrival of NNPC technical experts to secure the well head to prevent further loss/theft.

“Notably, on 1 June 2022, Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) PATHFINDER at Rivers State conducted a swamp buggy operation in some identified IRS during which 13 refining ovens, 6 reservoirs and 2 storage tanks were destroyed.

“Additionally, the IRS operators had abandoned 2 gas cylinders and fled at the sight of the Navy. The gas cylinders were handled appropriately. Similarly, NNS DELTA at Warri located and deactivated an IRS within a creek around Omadino Community in Warri South LGA of Delta State” he said.

The Naval spokesperson added that “the site had 7 ovens, 8 metal storage tanks and 2 pits cumulatively laden with about 3,000 litres of suspected stolen crude oil and about 6,000 litres of suspected illegally refined AGO. The site and products were neutralized appropriately. Also, 4 pumping machines and one 40hp outboard engine was recovered from the site.

“Also, on 2 June 2022, NNS SOROH arrested 2 trucks laden with suspected illegally sourced sludge at Opolo area in Yenagoa. The trucks were enroute Koko in Delta State without valid documents and approvals. A total of 5 suspects were therefore apprehended and in custody for later hand over for prosecution.

“Similarly, on 3 June 2022, NNS PATHFINDER discovered several IRS at Bukuma in Degema Creek and Creek 6 in Rivers State. There were 6 storage tanks and 3 massive pits filled with unspecified quantity of AGO and crude oil respectively.These were all neutralized.

“Furthermore, on 5 June 2022, NNS DELTA deactivated an IRS at Tebijo in Warri South-West LGA of Delta State”.

Other achievements of OPDDB between 1 to 12 June 2022, include, NNS DELTA’s raid on IRS around Ikantu bush in Warri South-West LGA of Delta State. During the raid, 15 storage tanks, 3 ovens and 2 pits collectively filled with about 70,000 litres of illegally refined AGO and about 250,000 litres of stolen crude oil were all destroyed.

“Further exploitation of the area led to the discovery of another IRS around Ekpugbene Creek in Warri South-West LGA of Delta State. The site had 2 ovens, 7 metal storage tanks and one pit all filled with about 65,000 litres of illegally refined AGO and 80,000 litres of suspected stolen crude oil. Also, 3 oxy-acetylene cylinders and one pumping machine were discovered at the site.

Accordingly, the site was deactivated while the 3 gas cylinders and one pumping machine were recovered from the site. Relatedly, an IRS adjacent to the location which had 15 ovens, 8 metal storage tanks, 5 surface storage tanks and one pit collectively, containing about 360,000 litres of illegally refined AGO and 225,000 litres of stolen crude oil were destroyed accordingly.

“Furthermore, on 8 June 2022, NNS DELTA located an IRS around Ajigbera Creek in Warri South-West LGA of Delta State. The site had 13 metal storage tanks and 9 ovens cumulatively laden with about 60,000 litres of suspected illegally refined AGO and about 100,000 litres of suspected stolen crude oil.

“Accordingly, the sites were deactivated while 4 pumping machines were recovered to the Base. Relatedly, on 9
June 2022, NNS DELTA raided a previously deactivated IRS at Ovuleye in Warri South-West LGA of Delta State along Egwa Creek.

“The IRS was observed to be active and illegal refining activities had re-commenced. The IRS had 10 ovens, 8 metal storage tanks and 6 surface storage tanks collectively, laden with about 250,000 litres of illegally refined AGO and 150,000 litres of stolen crude oil. Also, 3 pumping machines were discovered at the site.

“The IRS was again, deactivated and the products were handled appropriately. On the same day, NNS PATHFINDER discovered 2 massive wooden boats at Creek 6 in Kalibiama laden with unspecified quantity of suspected stolen crude oil. The large wooden boats and the products were handled appropriately. Additionally, 2 large pumping machines were confiscated at the scene and brought back to own location for safe custody”.

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