Navy Confiscates 750,000 Litres of Stolen Diesel in Rivers

Navy Confiscates 750,000 Litres of Stolen Diesel in Rivers

Blessing Ibunge in Port Harcourt

The Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS), Pathfinder, has recovered over 750,000 litres of illegally refined diesel from an illegal oil site in Abonnema Wharf axis of Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.

The recovery was based on reliable intelligence.

Commander in charge of NNS Pathfinder, Commodore Desmond Igbo, and his team announced the bursting of the illegal oil refining site yesterday.

THISDAY observed at the scene of incident that the illegally refined content was loaded in 100 drums and over 2,000 bags. Also observed at the site was a deep pit where the oil was stored.

Speaking with journalists on the development, Igbo said the raid was in continuation of the mandate of the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla, to end illegal oil bunkering activities and crude oil theft in the Niger Delta and other parts of the country.

The NNS Pathfinder commander described illegal oil bunkering and crude oil theft as an act of sabotage to the country’s economy, assuring the state that his team were fully determined to end the menace in their area of operation.

“This is an oil bunkering site in Port Harcourt. As you can see, we have lots of drums fully loaded with this illegally refined products. We also have some loaded in the bags too. Here, we have not less than 750,000 litres of diesel stolen by criminals stocked here.

“Last time, we were at the creeks, but they have devised a new means to even come to the town. This is Abonnema Wharf jetty, a community right inside the city of Port Harcourt, the state capital. This is a community being inhabited by people, if there is any fire incident it will engulf the whole community,” he stated.

Igbo added that the illegal refining site poses a great danger to residents and those doing business in the area.

According to him, “Apart from being saboteurs of the country’s economy by stealing these oil, they also constitute danger to the citizens and property of people around here because, if there is any form of fire outbreak, it will engulf the entire community. This is an act of environmental degradation. We will not allow this to continue.

“Two weeks ago, we were at the creeks and you saw how over two million litres of stolen crude were being refined illegally.

“The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ikechukwu Ogalla, has given us this mandate to go to the creeks, the water and the land to make sure that crude oil theft in Niger Delta is put to an end.

“We will not relent and we won’t be deterred even with all form of sabotage and blackmail, we will continue to do the right thing, both day and night, to ensure this act of economic sabotage stops.”

He, however, warned those involved in the act of sabotage to refrain and engage in legal business to earn a living or face the wrath of the law when caught.

The commander noted that the confiscated products would be handed over to the appropriate authority for necessary action.

Igbo warned: “I have always advised them. They must refrain from this act of economic sabotage, it is not good for our country and our economy, as well as the environment. So we advise them to look for other legal means of survival.”

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