Nigeria Navy Patrol Seizes & Destroys 15,775 Litres of Crude Oil Worth N13.2M in Ondo State
In a major operation against oil theft, the Nigeria Navy patrol team apprehended and demolished a significant haul of illegally refined crude oil and automotive gas oil in Ilaje, Ondo state. The seizure, which amounted to approximately 15,775 litres, was valued at around N13,251,000. The crackdown comes as part of the Joint Task Force Operation Delta Safe’s commitment to curbing crude oil theft (COT).
Commander Humphrey Nnaji, the Executive Officer of the Nigeria Navy Forward Operating Base (FOB) Igbokoda, revealed the successful operation during a press conference in Igbokoda. He explained that the task force had received credible intelligence and promptly took action to combat illegal bunkering. Acting on this information, the team tracked and intercepted a wooden boat, commonly known as a Cotonou boat, loaded with crude oil.
The interception took place approximately 12 nautical miles off the coast, between Ojumole and Obe communities in Ilaje local government area. As soon as the naval personnel approached, the crew members of the illicit vessel abandoned their post and fled. The seized crude oil, estimated to be 5,000 litres, was subsequently destroyed in accordance with the mandate of the Joint Task Force Operation Delta Safe.
FOB Igbokoda was specifically established to support the policing efforts of the Western Naval Command (WNC), particularly in combating COT and illegal bunkering. Commander Nnaji emphasized that the base operates under the leadership of Rear Admiral MB Hassan, the Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command. The Commanding Officer of FOB Igbokoda, Captain Wasuku Alushi, echoed the base’s dedication to eradicating COT and other criminal activities in the Igbokoda region and its surroundings.
This successful operation further highlights the Nigeria Navy’s ongoing efforts to combat crude oil theft and protect the country’s natural resources. The removal and destruction of illegally refined crude oil and automotive gas oil send a strong message to those involved in illegal bunkering and oil theft. As the Nigeria Navy remains resolute in its commitment to maintaining security and upholding the law, it is expected that such operations will continue to deter criminal activities in the future.
The seizure and destruction of the 15,775 litres of crude oil and automotive gas oil worth N13.2M serve as a significant blow to the illegal bunkering network in Ondo state. The Nigeria Navy’s actions highlight their determination to safeguard Nigeria’s natural resources and secure its maritime borders. With the Joint Task Force Operation Delta Safe at the forefront of the fight against crude oil theft, it is evident that collaborative efforts are vital in curbing this illicit trade.
The crackdown on illegal bunkering not only protects Nigeria’s economy and environment but also ensures that the benefits of the country’s natural resources are channeled towards its development. The Nigeria Navy’s continuous vigilance and operational success demonstrate their commitment to playing a crucial role in maintaining national and regional security.
As the Nigeria Navy’s anti-crude oil theft patrol team continues its tireless efforts, it is anticipated that further strides will be made in dismantling illegal bunkering networks and preventing the theft and illegal refining of crude oil. Such operations serve as a deterrent to those involved in these illicit activities and contribute to the overall security and sustainable development of Nigeria’s coastal communities.