The Nigerian Navy has stepped up efforts towards eliminating all forms of crimes in Nigeria’s waters with the arrest of 40 suspects involved in crude oil theft and piracy comprising 32 Nigerians and eight Camerounians.
The Director of Information (DINFO), Commodore Christian Ezekobe, in a statement on Tuesday, said that the operational Commands, have in line with the directive of the Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, sustained the ongoing clampdown on illegal refineries, crude oil theft, pipeline vandalism, smuggling, piracy and sea robbery.
In the latest raids conducted against the criminals, Ezekobe said that the Nigerian Navy patrol team deployed from NNS DELTA discovered and destroyed illegal crude oil refineries set up in Lolomu creek in Gbaramatu Kingdom and Tagola creek all in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State.
He disclosed that on one of the discovered sites, the patrol team destroyed 11 storage tanks, three Cotonou boats loaded with product suspected to be stolen crude oil, two pumping machines and 40 horse power (HP) fibre boat.
He listed some of the items destroyed at Tagola creek to include 30 drums of 200 litres each, six GP tanks of 15,000 litres each, six tanks of 10,000 litres each and a locally made gun with one live cartridge.
“The operators of the illegal refinery fled before the arrival of the naval patrol team,” he stated.
The DINFO said: ” In what could be tagged a big harvest of criminals, the NNS DELTA patrol team arrested 10 persons suspected to be engaged in crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism. The suspects were arrested in a speed boat and two large Cotonou boats around the SPDC Forcados area.