In its continued effort to end illegal bunkering activities in the waterways of the Niger Delta, the operatives of the Joint Task Force ‘Operation Pulo Shield’ have arrested an ocean going barge used by vandals in the region.
The barge containing an unascertained quantity of crude oil, was intercepted and arrested at Mangbiye Creek, Sangana community of Southern Ijaw Local Government Area, Bayelsa State.
The JTF, in a statement by Lt. Col. Mustapha Anka, Coordinator, Joint Media Coordinating Centre (JMCC), noted that the troops deployed at Kalaibiama also discovered a wooden boat and a metal barge filled with stolen crude oil. No arrest was made as the suspects absconded on sighting the troops.
Similarly, the troops deployed at Igbematoro, Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, while on patrol discovered and destroyed 23 illegal oil distillery camps, 18 illegal oil dumps, and 34 drums filled with stolen crude.
“Other items discovered include six Cotonou boats and three pumping machines used for illegal oil bunkering activities. Six suspects were arrested while illegally siphoning products from Nigeria National Petroleum Cooperation (NNPC) pipeline at Okwagbude Community in Okpe Local Government Area of Delta State.”
In another operation, troops deployed at Opunami general area of Warri South and Abudu, Orhionmwon Local Government Area of Delta and Edo States respectively, discovered and scuttled 30 illegal oil distillery camps where oil thieves operate with 15 Cotonou boats, 13 plastic tanks and 365 drums filled with substances suspected to be illegally refined Automated Gas Oil (AGO).
Anka stated that other items discovered at the site included three pumping machines, one speed boat, 16 cooking ovens and several other illegal oil bunkering materials.
“The troops also intercepted a speed boat conveying suspected illegal oil bunkering equipment including three pumping machines, a packet of welding electrolyte, iron cutting and drilling machine. The boats and the items are now in the custody of the JTF for preliminary investigation.
Following an intelligence tip off, troops deployed at Omadine in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State during land throttling intercepted and arrested a trailer loaded with 50 drums of illegally refined AGO, 49 drums filled with crude oil and 35 drums of sludge, adding that three suspects were also arrested.
“Both the vehicle and the suspects are in the custody of the JTF for preliminary investigation. Another two suspects were also apprehended along Aziza junction in Okpe Local Government Area of Delta State, conveying 400 litres capacity container in a Mitsubishi Gallant saloon car filled with substances suspected to be illegally refined fuel (AGO).
“Both vehicle and the products were set ablaze while the suspects are in custody for preliminary investigation before handing them over them to prosecuting agency.”