JTF arrests 11 suspected oil thieves

JTF destroys illegal crude oil refineries, crude oil laden barges15 July 2014, Warri – The Joint Task Force in the Niger Delta, Operation Pulo Shield, has apprehended 11 suspects for stealing 134 drums of petroleum products.

The suspects were said to have siphoned the products from a pipeline belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.

Acting on a tip-off, JTF troops deployed in Omadine, Warri South Local Government Area, Delta State, were said to have intercepted a trailer carrying drums of the products.

The troops were said to have, during investigation, discovered that the trailer was conveying 50 drums of illegally refined Automated Gas Oil, 49 drums of crude oil and 35 drums of sludge.

The troops reportedly arrested three suspects in connection with the theft and impounded the vehicle.

The outfit’s Media Coordinator, Lt.-Col. Mustapha Anka, said the troops also apprehended two suspects at Aziza Junction, Okpe Local Government Area, Delta State.

He said the suspects were conveying 400-litre-capacity container in a Mitsubishi Gallant saloon car when they were arrested.
Anka said substances suspected to be illegally refined AGO were found in the container.

He added that both the vehicle and the products were burnt while the suspects were in custody for preliminary investigation before being handed over  to prosecuting agency.

The spokesman further confirmed that six of the suspects were arrested while illegally siphoning products from a pipeline belonging to the NNPC pipeline at Okwagbude community in Okpe LGA of Delta.

In Bayelsa State, Anka said troops deployed in Igbematoro, Southern Ijaw LGA, discovered and destroyed 23 illegal oil refineries.
He mentioned that other destroyed items were 18 illegal oil dumps, and 34 drums filled with stolen crude, six Cotonou boats and three pumping machines used for illegal oil bunkering activities.  

The spokesman also noted that troops of JTF arrested an ocean-going barge used for illegal oil bunkering activities in the Niger Delta region.  

“The barge containing yet-to-be-ascertained quantity of crude oil was intercepted and arrested at Mangbiye creek in Sangana community of Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State,” Anka said.


– The Punch

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