The personnel of the Nigeria Navy’s Forward Operating Base (FOB) destroyed 15,775 litres of crude oil and unlawfully refined Automotive Gas worth more than 13 million dollars in Igbokoda, the headquarters of Ondo State’s Ilaje Local Government Area.
In compliance with the Joint Task Force Operation Delta Safe command requirements on COT, the Naval officers attached to the Anti-Crude Oil Theft COT patrol unit they destroyed approximately 5,000 litres of crude oil.
Captain Wasuku Alushi, the Task Force’s Commanding Officer, indicated that the Task Force moved to maintain the fight over illegal bunkering and, in the process, traced and detained a wooden boat known as a Cotonou boat packed with crude oil.
Alushi, who was represented by the Base’s Executive Officer, Commander Humphrey Nnaji, stated that the bunkers retreated when they saw the personnel of the FOB patrolling its riverine areas.
He said the wooden boat was captured about 12 nm off the coast of neighbouring Obe and Ojumole communities in Ondo state’s Ilaje Local Government Area. When the crew saw the Naval personnel, they abandoned the boat and ran.
According to Nnaji, the Joint Task Force Operation Delta Safe was created to act as a force multiplier to assist Western Naval Command (WNC) in support of its police tasks, particularly anti-crude oil theft (abbreviated COT) and unlawful bunkering.
FOB Igbokoda reports operationally to the Flag Officer Commanding the Western Naval Command. Alushi reaffirmed the Base’s commitment to eliminating the threat of COT and additional crimes in Igbokoda and the surrounding areas.
Furthermore, he claimed that the Base would increase its information collecting, surveillance, aggressive marine, vehicular, and static deployment of people at important places, particularly choke points inside the Base’s area of operation.
Already, within six weeks of the CO taking command, the Base has made significant progress in arresting and removing illegally refined products, all in accordance with the OPDS directive/mandate, Alushi added.
On October 13, 2023, at Awoye, a wooden boat carrying approximately 2000 litres of alleged illegally refined crude oil was intercepted and destroyed.
In another operation on October 18 23, the Base discovered an illegal storage facility at Ugbo-Nla with about 5000 litres of illegal POL products, which had been destroyed per OPDS directives.
In support of the Base’s operations against COT, on October 27, the Base stormed an IRS in Obe-Akinboye in Obenla village, which was discovered to be reactivated for illicit refining of illegally refined AGO, which was also destroyed in compliance with the mandate.
He guaranteed that the Base would continue to operate according to the strategic directions of Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral EI Ogalla.
According to him, the Commanding Officer in his command is eager to employ novel approaches to combating illegal activity. However, he assured the residents of Igbokoda and the surrounding areas that the Base was ready to break the vicious cycle of criminality and offer a secure and peaceful environment for citizens to go with legitimate businesses with no fear or intimidation and for economic activities to flourish unabated.
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