The Joint Task Force Operation Delta Safe (OPDS) carried out a successful operation resulting in the arrest of an oil vessel named MV Ofuoma, along with its crew of 10 members.
According to John Siyanbade, the task force’s component commander, the Nigerian Navy ship Pathfinder apprehended the MV Ofuoma on August 15 at Abuloma jetty in Port Harcourt.
Speaking at the site on behalf of Olusegun Ferreira, a rear admiral, Siyanbade said the vessel was used as a storage facility for illegally refined petroleum products.
“The vessel was receiving product suspected to be illegally refined AGO from a dugout wooden boat alongside it,” he said.
“Around 20,000 liters of the product had already been moved from the dugout canoe to the vessel when it was intercepted by OPDS. We currently have roughly 35,000 liters left on board.
“The operation was conducted by troops of the JTF Operation Delta Safe Headquarters.”
Siyanbade said the 10 suspects intercepted comprise both the crew on board the vessel and those on the boat.
“The suspects have given credible information about where they source the product from; operation is ongoing to deactivate the illegal refining site in the area, and the operation will be for some time,” the commander said.
He added that the task force would not relent in its efforts to eradicate crude oil theft and other forms of illegality in the region.
Siyanbade advised individuals involved to seek legitimate means of livelihood before they are apprehended.