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Oil theft: Navy arrests eight vessels laden with diesel in Rivers

The Military Joint Task force of Operation Delta Safe (OPDS) has arrested eight barges, conveying over 100,000 litres of illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil (AGO), popularly called diesel, in Rivers State.

The Commander, Joint Task force, South-South, OPDS, Olusegun Ferreira, told newsmen at the creek of Bonny, that the barges were arrested by the OPDS team in conjunction with some maritime units in the Bonny area.

Ferreira, who was represented by the Maritime Component Commander, Commodore Adedokun Siyanbade, said the operation was in line with the team’s mandate to eradicate crude oil theft and criminality in the Niger Delta region.

He said: “As you all know, the mandate given by the Chief of Defence Staff to OPDS was to protect oil and gas installations, and ensure that crude oil theft is stopped in joint operation areas.

“This instruction was reiterated during the last conference he had with the Joint Task Force Commander, where he stressed the need for the total eradication of crude oil theft by all means within the joint operation area.

“Having got these directives, the Joint Task force pushed further in its operations, which led to the arrest of eight badges with products suspected to be illegally refined AGO, cumulatively over 100,000 litres in different compartments.”

He advised the public, especially youths, to desist from illegal oil bunkering and other acts of criminality, warning that anyone caught will be made to face the law.

“It is still a warning for all those involved in illegal activities and we are advising them to look for legitimate businesses to do.

“OPDS and other Security agencies within the joint operation areas will not relent in their efforts at stopping crude oil theft within the joint operations area,” he added.

Ferreira said further investigation would be carried out on the seized products, assuring that the issue would be handled in line with the mandate given to them by the government.(THE GUARDIAN)

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