The Nigerian Navy has announced the destruction of over 15,000 litres of crude oil that was illegally refined along the shores of Ojumole and Obe creeks in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State.
The crude oil, which was valued at over N13 million, was intercepted by the anti-crude oil theft patrol team of the Navy Forward Operating Base (FOB) in Igbokoda.
The commanding officer of the FOB, Wasuku Alushi, disclosed this in a statement issued to journalists at the weekend. He was represented by the executive officer of the base, Humphrey Nnaji.
According to Mr Alushi, the patrol team tracked a wooden boat, popularly known as a ‘Cotonou boat’, that was laden with the illegally refined automotive gas oil through credible intelligence.
He said that the oil thieves abandoned the boat and fled when they sighted the naval personnel. The boat was intercepted about 12 nautical miles off the coast of Ojumole and Obe communities in Ilaje Local Government Area.
Mr Alushi also revealed other achievements made by the FOB in the last two months in the fight against illegal bunkering and crude oil theft in the Igbokoda area.
He said that the base had arrested and destroyed several illegally refined products in accordance with the directives of the Operation Delta Safe (OPDS).
He listed some of the operations as follows:
On October 13, 2023, a wooden boat carrying about 2,000 litres of suspected illegally refined crude products was intercepted and destroyed at Awoye.
On October 18, 2023, based on credible intelligence, the base discovered an illegal storage site with approximately 5,000 litres of illegal petroleum products at Ugbo-Nla, which was destroyed.
On October 27, 2023, the base stormed an illegal refining site at Obe-Akinboye in Obenla community, which was observed to be under reactivation for illegal refining of automotive gas oil, which was also destroyed.
On October 30, 2023, the base also discovered a storage facility for illegal refined products at old market road Igbokoda with 11 containers of 25 litres each of illegally refined products, totalling 275 litres.
On November 14, 2023, an illegal storage site at Mahin was discovered with 96 drums of 30 litres each and three drums of 300 litres each of illegally refined petroleum products, approximately 3,500 litres, concealed in a storage facility.
Mr Alushi said that all the discovered and destroyed illegal petroleum products amounted to approximately 15,775 litres and were worth around N13,251,000 at the current pump price.
He assured the good people of Igbokoda that the base was 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.
He also urged the public to cooperate with the Navy by providing useful information that would help to curb the menace of illegal bunkering and crude oil theft in the area.