The Nigerian Navy has arrested and destroyed 15,775 litres of Crude oil/ illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil from illegal bunkering in the Ilaje Local government area of Ondo state.
The Automotive Gas Oil worth about N13.2 million was intercepted by the men of the Anti Crude Oil Theft, COT patrol team of the Nigeria Navy Forward Operating Base (FOB) in the state.
The crude oil of approximately 5,000 litres was destroyed by the Joint Task Force Operation Delta Safe mandate on COT.
Executive Officer of the Base, Commander Humphrey Nnaji who disclosed this to journalists in Akure, the state capital, said that based on credible Intel, 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 on behalf of the Commanding Officer, Captain Wasuku Alushi, Nnaji said the wooden boat was intercepted about 12NM off the coast of adjoining Ojumole and Obe communities in the Ilaje Local government area of the state.
The Naval boss added that on the sighting of the Naval personnel, the crew abandoned the boat and fled.
On the mandate of the Base, Nnaji explained that it 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.
According to him, “FOB Igbokoda is operationally responsible to the Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command under the leadership of Rear Admiral MB Hassan.”
He further stated that the Base will 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.
His words: “So far, within 6 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 N13 million naira at current pump price.”
He however, assured the good people of Igbokoda and its environment that the “Base is 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.”