20 January, 2014
The Joint Task Force (Operation Pulo Shield) operating in the Niger Delta has impounded 20 barges and five boats laden with 213,000 litres of crude oil suspected to have been stolen.
These details were contained in a press statement made available to Beegeagle’s Blog and signed by the Media Coordinator of the JTF, Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu.
The statement reads:
“Troops of 29 and 5 Battalions of Sector 2 anti illegal oil bunkering patrol squads of the Joint Task Force OPERATION PULO SHIELD have impounded 20 wooden barges and 5 fibre boats conveying stolen crude oil estimated to be about 213,000 litres in the Niger Delta. The barges and 2 pumping machines were intercepted in Bodo West, Rivers state and Azagbene creek in Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa state.
During the operation, the troops also uncovered and scuttled 2 active illegal oil refinery sites concealed in the woods along Biara farmland in Akpor Gokana Local Government Area and Ajudaigbo general area in Warri South Local Government Areas of Rivers and Delta states respectively.
“Eighteen surface tanks, 11 drums, 4 plastic tanks, 2 pumping machines and hoses of various sizes and lengths were scuttled during the clamp down.
“In a similar operation, troops of 222 Battalion of Sector 1 of the Joint Task Force deployed in Kokori flow station in Delta state have arrested 3 suspects for illegally siphoning crude oil from Well Head 14 flow station into a truck . The suspects had already loaded the truck with 20 drums filled with stolen crude oil before they were intercepted. The suspects are currently in the custody of 222 Battalion assisting in the preliminary investigations before they will be transferred to a relevant prosecuting agency.
“Meanwhile, troops of 343 Regiment of Sector 2 of the JTF in renewed vigour to combat illegal oil bunkering in the Niger Delta have conducted a surprise cordon and search operation in Igbematoru community in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
The combined troops of 343 Regiment, Nigerian Police and Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps carried out the search on the hideouts of identified suspected illegal oil bunkerers in the community.
“The operation was informed by the disturbing fact that Igbematoru has been high on the graph of occurrences of illegal oil bunkering in Bayelsa state, consequently necessitating the operation.
“The cordon and search operation which was successfully executed has so far yielded positive results as our troops have recovered several tools used for illegal bunkering including 103 pumping machines, 32 hoses of various lengths and diameters, 17 hard saw machines and 8 adjustable spanners.
The troops also scuttled 3 illegal refineries and recovered a large wooden boat (Cotonou boat), 178 drums, 86 jerry cans and several polythene bags concealed in sacks, all laden with stolen crude oil during the operation. Four suspects arrested in the cordon and search operation are currently being processed for handing over to appropriate prosecutorial agency.”