13 August, 2013
Troops of the 3 Battalion, 19 Battalion, 29 Battalion, 146 Battalion and 343 Regiment operating in Sectors 1 and 2 of the Joint Task Force’s Area of Responsibility in the Niger Delta have during the course of two weeks of rigorous anti oil theft operations scuttled the operations of 27 illegal oil refineries.
Additionally, 3 speedboats, 3 barges, a truck, 17 ‘Cotonou’ boats used for illegal bunkering activities were impounded and eleven suspects were arrested and handed over to the appropriate agencies with prosecutorial powers. A total of 198,000 litres (965 barrels or 6 tankerloads) of adulterated diesel were seized from the culprits.
These details were contained in a press release made available to Beegeagle’s Blog and signed by the Media Coordinator of the Joint Task Force (OP PULO SHIELD), Lt Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu. The statement reads :
“Five oil theft suspects attempting to steal crude oil from Product and Pipeline Marketing Company (PPMC) pipeline along Otokolomabie Creek in Rivers State have been arrested by operatives of the Joint Task Force (JTF), Operation Pulo Shield in a recent anti-oil-theft operation.
Troops of 146 Battalion of Sector 2 of the JTF deployed in Bonny Island intercepted the suspects along the Trans Niger Pipeline (TNP) where PPMC and SPDC pipelines are laid. The suspects were arrested with 3 fibre speedboats and 3 barges with which they carry out their illicit activities.
“In another development, youths of Ogala community in Okrika Local Government Area of Rivers State have facilitated the impoundment of a bus used for illegal bunkering activities. The truck, laden with illegally sourced crude oil was reported to JTF land patrols that promptly swung into action and impounded the vehicle.
Meanwhile in Bayelsa State, troops of 343 Regiment and 29 Battalion of Sector 2 of the JTF patrolling the water ways of Mbikiba and Lagosbene in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area have also clamped down 11 illegal crude oil distilleries and scuttled 7 open wooden boats used by oil thieves.
“In a similar anti-oil-theft operation in Delta state, troops of 3 and 19 Battalions of Sector 1 of the JTF have uncovered and scuttled 16 illegal crude oil distilleries where oil thieves operate with 50 oil cooking tanks, 37 steel reservoir, 27 large plastic tanks, 40 metal drums and 5 dug out pits in Ugbokodo, Ajudigho, Saghara, Obegugu and Oghara all in Warri South and Ethiope West Local Government Areas of Delta State. The troops also intercepted 10 open wooden boats (Cotonou boats) conveying adulterated Automated Gas Oil.
“Three of the impounded boats were laden with 15,000 litres each, six of the boats contained 20,000 litres each while one of the boats was laden with about 33, 000 litres of adulterated AGO.
In the entire anti-oil-theft operation, which lasted from 26 July-9 August 2013, eleven suspects were arrested for oil theft related offences and currently undergoing preliminary investigations before they are handed over to relevant prosecuting agencies.”