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Navy intercepts 6m litres of stolen crude, AGO worth N3bn In South-South


Abiola Seun

The Nigerian Navy, on Sunday, said that the special operation it embarked upon, Dakata Da Barawo, has led to the seizures of 6million litres of stolen crude oil, illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil (AGO), Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) and Sludge Oil in the South-South geopolitical zone.

In a press statement made available to newsmen, the Navy director of Information, Kayode Ayo-Vaughan, the seized items worth N3 billion were seized from oil thieves in the region between 15th to 23rd of April, 2022.

Ayo-Vaughan, however, expressed worry that operators of illegal refineries have moved from the South-South region to the South-Eastern part of the country saying, they won’t be deterred from ensuring zero tolerance from stamping out illegal activities in the nation’s maritime environment.

He said, “week three of operation Dakata Da Barawo saw the seizure of over 6million litres of products valued over N3 Billion from oil thieves and economic saboteurs.

” The migration by operators of IRS from the South South geopolitical zone to the South East also come to the fore.
This development will no way deter the Nigenan Navy from ensuring zero tolerance for COT, IRS, illegal bunkering and related economic crimes in the Nation maritime environment and adjoining territory.”

Giving details of the seizures, the Navy spokesman said, “Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) DELTA at Warri, deactivated an IRS site around Sara creek. The IRS had 16 oven, 16 metal storage tanks and 3 wide pits filled with about 500,000 litres of illegally refined AGO, as well as, 700 000 litres of stolen crude oil, a generator and 4 pumping machines.

 Also an IRS at Asugbo creek in Warri was discovered with 6 ovens, 12 metal storage tanks and 5 large pits all containing about 600 000 litres of stolen crude oil including 200 000 hires of illegally refined AGO and about 150 000 litres of sludge.”

“Similarly, sequel to series of air reconnaissance, Forward Operating Base (FOB), Bayelsa State, on 19 April 2022, raided an IRS at Ereweubio creek in Brass LGA.

” Accordingly, 7 large cooking ovens ,10 large metal storage tanks and drums all laden with about 400 000 litres of illegally refined AGO and 20 000 litres of suspected illegally refined PMS were discovered.

“The site also had 5 large pits holding approximately 700 000 litres of stolen crude oil, 2 pumping machines, one gasoline generator, one submersible pump and one chainsaw machine were discovered at the site and destroyed.

 Meanwhile, on 21 April 2022, an IRS at Lelemu creek in Warri South-West was discovered.
During the operation, 19 ovens, 26 metal storage tanks and 2 dugout pits laden with about 250,000 litres of suspected stolen crude oil and 50,000 litres of illegally refined AGO were destroyed.

He continued, “To ensure effective deactivation of IRS, NNS DELTA on 21 April 2022, conducted swamp buggy operations dunng which an earlier identified IRS around Egwa creek in Warri was destroyed during the operation.

Also, 16 ovens, 31 metal storage tanks and 7 large pits all filled with about 850, 000 litres of stolen crude oil were equally deactivated.

“Relatedly, on 22 2022, around Lelemu creek in Warri South West Local government of Delta State, personnel under NNS DELTA again discovered 22 IRS ovens, 12 metallic storage tanks and 5 large pits all containing about 150,000 litres of stolen crude oil at another IRS off Lelemwu creek with 19 ovens, 42 storage tanks and 14 large pits containing about 300,000 litres of stolen crude oil, as well as approximately 200,000 litres of illegally refined AGO 100,000 litres of illegally refined DPK and 100,000 litres of suspected crude oil sludge were all destroyed.”

The Navy headquarters, however, raised the alarm that Illegal Refinery Sites were discovered in Anambra state.

His words, “In a related but unprecedented development, NNS LUGARD at Kogi State in the course of OPDDB discovered an IRS on 22 Apni 2022, at a location off Akili Ozizor community of Ogbaru LGA, Anambra State.

 During the operation, 4 locally fabricated ovens, 7 metal storage tanks, 4 large pits of which 2 were for storage of about 48 000 litres of stolen crude oil were all destroyed.

“On the same day, NNS VICTORY in Calabar raided tanker garage along Harbour road in the city and seized a storage tank containing about 45 000 litres of suspected illegally refined AGO.

“Also, a tanker laden with 33000 litres of suspected locally refined AGO was seized and the owner was arrested Furthermore, about 58 drums of locally refined AGO were also seized.”

Additionally, NNS SOROH at Yenagoa, on Saturday 23 April 2022 intercepted a wooden boat at Otuokpot Area along Kolo creek.

 The wooden boat was laden with 60 000Litres of illegally refined AGO together with over 100 sacks of same product Items on the boat included one pumping machine, one Yamaha 40HP outboard engine and one locally made boat Anchor with the products were destroyed at Ogbia waterside.

“The Base also conducted a search on a Market Boat heading for St Nicolas Axis from Akassa area.

” About 2,500 litres of suspected illegally refined products stored in gallons and sacks were hidden inside the boat.
“Accordingly, same were evacuated for destruction likewise on the same day, personnel under NNS DELTA on patrol around Jones creek in Warri South West LGA raided an IRS and discovered 33 ovens, 42 metal storage tanks and 7 wide pits all filled with about 1,200 000 litres of stolen crude oil, 250 000 litres of illegally refined AGO and about 100 000 Lies of sludge.

“Further combing of the area off Jones creek led to the discovery of another IRS with 5 ovens, 2 metal storage tanks and 8 large pits with about 150 000 litres of sludge, both IRS off Jones creek with the discovered items and products were destroyed.”

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