The Nigerian Navy has said its personnel, during the exercise code-named operation Dakatar Barawo, seized over 6 million litres of crude oil products worth N3 billion from oil thieves between April 15 and 23.
The Navy also said it deactivated illegal refining sites around Sara creek, among others, within the period.
A statement on Sunday by its spokesperson, Adedotun Ayo-Vaughan, said the Navy discovered three wide pits filled with about 500,000 litres of illegally refined AGO, as well as 700,000 litres of stolen crude oil in the same period.
The statement partly read, “In furtherance of Operation DAKATAR DA BARAWO, launched by the Nigerian Navy on April 1, 2022, the Service’s unrelenting effort to check increasing crude oil theft and related acts of economic sabotage has recorded more arrests and seizures between April 15-23, 2022, being the third week of the operation. On April 15, 2022, Nigerian Navy Ship DELTA at Warri, deactivated an Illegal Refining Site around Sara creek.
“The IRS had 16 ovens, 16 metal storage tanks and three wide pits filled with about 500,000 litres of illegally refined AGO, as well as 700,000 litres of stolen crude oil, a generator and four pumping machines. Also, an IRS at Asugbo creek in Warri was discovered with six ovens, 12 metal storage tanks and five large pits all containing about 600,000 litres of stolen crude oil including 200,000 litres of illegally refined AGO and about 150,000 litres of sludge.
“Similarly, sequel to series of air reconnaissance, Forward Operating Base FORMOSO in Bayelsa State on April 19, 2022, raided an IRS at Ereweibio creek in Brass LGA. Accordingly, seven large cooking ovens, 10 large metal storage tanks and drums all laden with about 400,000 litres of illegally refined AGO and 20,000 litres of suspected illegally refined PMS were discovered. The site also had five large pits holding approximately 700,000 litres of stolen crude oil. Equally, two pumping machines, one gasoline generator, one submersible pump and one chainsaw machine were discovered at the site and destroyed in situ.
“Succinctly, Week three of the OPDDB saw the seizure of over 6,000,000 litres of products valued over N3 billion from oil thieves and economic saboteurs. The migration by operators of IRS from the South-South geopolitical zone to the South-East also comes to the fore. This development will in no way deter the Nigerian Navy from ensuring zero tolerance for COT, IRS, illegal bunkering and related economic crimes in the nation’s maritime environment and adjoining territory,” the statement added.