A Joint Task Force comprising men of the Anti Crude Oil Theft (COT) and the Nigeria Navy Forward Operating Base (FOB) Igbokoda, Ondo State, has arrested and destroyed approximately 16,000 litres of stolen crude oil and illegally refined automotive gas oil, estimated to be worth over N13 million.
Commanding Officer, Captain Wasuku Alushi, revealed that the operation was initiated based on credible intelligence, as the Task Force sought to intensify efforts against the rampant illegal bunkering activities plaguing the region.
The joint team intercepted a wooden boat, commonly referred to as a cotonou boat, loaded with stolen crude oil about 12 Nautical Miles off the coast of Ojumole and Obe community in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State.
Alushi, speaking through the Executive Officer of the Base, Commander Humphrey Nnaji, explained that upon sighting the naval personnel, the suspected oil thieves abandoned the boat and fled the scene.
The Commanding Officer emphasized the commitment of FOB Igbokoda to eradicate the menace of crude oil theft and other criminal activities in Igbokoda and its environs.
He promised to intensify intelligence gathering, surveillance, and robust maritime, vehicular and static deployment of personnel at strategic locations, especially choke points within the Base’s area of operation.
Alushi noted the destruction of illegally refined products in various operations, all conducted in line with the directives of the Operation Delta Safe (OPDS), which have resulted in the arrest and destruction of illicit products, including those discovered in Awoye, Ugbo-Nla, Obe-Akinboye, old market road Igbokoda, and Mahin.
The total value of the destroyed illegal petroleum products is estimated at approximately N13,251,000, based on the current pump price.
Alushi assured the public that FOB Igbokoda would persist in its operations in accordance with the strategic directives of the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral EI Ogalla.
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