The Nigerian Navy has commenced what may be termed its biggest operation aimed at putting an end to oil theft and illegal refining in the Niger Delta with the deployment of 40 ships, five helicopters and 200 boats.
The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo, said this while speaking to newsmen shortly after flagging off Operation ‘Dakatar Da Barawo’ (stop the thief) on board the Nigeria Navy Ship, Okpabana in Onne, Rivers State on Saturday.
Gambo, who was represented by the Chief of Policy and Planning, Rear Admiral Saidu Garba, said the move was to intensify previous efforts as the nation was bleeding as a result of huge losses to the menace of oil theft.
Recall that the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba, had reiterated the commitment of the Nigeria Police Force to maintain a sustained fight against illegal bunkering, pipeline vandalism, economic saboteurs, and other criminal elements in the country.
This promise came on the heels of the achievements recorded by the Inspector-General of Police Special Task Force on Petroleum/Illegal Bunkering (IGP-STFPIB) which has successfully impounded 41 trucks, 13 other vehicles; arrested 42 suspects out of whom 21 have been charged to court with 17 still under investigations while 4 convictions have been secured in court; pending and final forfeiture of 14 Tankers and 4 Cars to the Federal Government of Nigeria, with 6 cases pending in various Federal High Court branches across the federation.
Equally, a total of 1,057,000 litres of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO), 30,000 litres of Low Pour Furl Oil (LPFO), 75,000 litres of Crude oil, and 9,900 litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) were recovered between 2021 till date.
These successes were achieved in Rivers State and some other parts of the country, sequel to the unrelenting pragmatic and sustained fight against collectively by the Federal Government, and the Inspector-General of Police. The collective effort has assisted greatly in the fight against bunker traders and purveyors of adulterated petroleum products within the country.