Headlines JTF intercepts 16,000 litres of stolen crude oil in Ondo By maritimemag November 20, 2023 ShareTweet 0 By Abiodun OBA A joint task force of Men of the Anti-Crude Oil Theft, COT, and the patrol team of the Nigeria Navy Forward Operating Base (FOB) Igbokoda, Ondo State, have arrested and destroyed about 16,000 litres of crude oil and illegally refined automotive gas oil worth over N13m. The Commanding Officer, Captain Wasuku Alushi, said that based on credible intelligence, the Task Force moved to sustain the fight against illegal bunkering and in the process, tracked and intercepted a wooden boat popularly referred to as a Cotonou boat laden with crude oil. Speaking through the Executive Officer of the Base, Commander Humphrey Nnaji, Alushi, said the bunkers fled on sighting the men of the FOB who were patrolling the riverine areas. Alushi said “The wooden boat was intercepted about 12 Nautical Miles off the coast of adjoining Ojumole and Obe community in Ilaje Local government area of Ondo state. On sighting of the Naval personnel, the crew abandoned the boat and fled.” He added that the Joint Task Force Operation Delta Safe was established to serve as a force multiplier for the Western Naval Command, (WNC) in furtherance of its policing roles, especially the Anti-Crude Oil Theft (COT) and illegal bunkering. “FOB Igbokoda is operationally responsible to the Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command under the leadership of Rear Admiral MB Hassan.” He reiterated the commitment of the Base to stamp out the menace of COT and other crimes in Igbokoda and its environment. Alushi promised that the Base would intensify her intelligence gathering, surveillance, robust and aggressive maritime, vehicular as well and static deployment of personnel at strategic locations especially choke points within the Base area of operation. “So far, within six weeks of the CO’s assumption of command, the Base has made great strides in the arrest and destruction of illegally refined products all by OPDS directive/mandate. “On 13 October 23, 2023, a wooden boat laden with about 2000 litres of suspected illegally refined crude products was intercepted and destroyed at Awoye. “In another operation on 18 Oct 23, based on credible intelligence, the Base discovered an illegal storage site with approximately 5000 litres of illegal POL products at Ugbo-Nla, which was destroyed by OPDS directives. “In furtherance of the Base operations against COT, on 27 Oct 23, the Base stormed an IRS at Obe- Akinboye in Obenla community which was observed to be under reactivation for illegal refining of illegally refined AGO which was also destroyed by the mandate. “On 30 Oct, the Base also discovered a storage facility for illegally refined products at old market road Igbokoda with 11 x 25 litres containers of illegally refined products totalling 275 litres. “Most recently, On 14 Nov 23, an illegal storage site at Mahin was discovered with 96 drums of 30 litres jerrican and 3 x 300 litres drums of illegally refined POL products approximately 3500 litres concealed in a storage facility. “All discovered and destroyed illegal POL products totalling approximately 15,775 litres and valued at around #13,251,000 at current pump price.” The commanding Officer assured that the Base would continue to carry out its operations in line with the strategic directives of the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral EI Ogalla. According to him, the Commanding Officer under his watch is determined to take innovative steps in dealing with criminal activities. He assured the people of the southern senatorial district that the Base was poised to stem the vicious cycle of criminality and provide a stable and peaceful environment for citizens to go about their legitimate businesses without fear or intimidation and for economic activities to thrive unabated. © 2023, maritimemag. All rights reserved.