11 September 2016, Abuja — The Nigerian Navy patrol team deployed by the Forward Operations Base (FOB) Escravos in Delta State, has in line with the Chief of the Naval Staff’s drive to eliminate all forms of economic sabotage in the maritime domain, raided Sara Creek near Escravos.
The Director of Information (DINFO), Commodore Christian Ezekobe, in a statement yesterday, said the team conducted the raid on September 7, where they arrested six persons in connection with operating an illegal refinery.
Ezekobe said three Cotonou boats laden with un-quantified suspected stolen crude oil were destroyed in the process. He said the patrol team also recovered a speed boat and a Cotonou boat carrying 15 of 10,000 litres and two of 5000 litres GP tanks laden with suspected illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil (AGO).
“Other items recovered are 3 outboard engines and four pumping machines. Similarly, the patrol team deployed by NNS DELTA has arrested a Cotonou boat laden with 100 metric tonnes (MT) of the product suspected to be illegally refined AGO. The boat was arrested on September 7, 2016, at Ogboro Creek in Warri South LGA of Delta State,” he stated.
In a related development, Ezekobe said a patrol team deployed by NNS Delta on September 3, 2016, combed Benneth Island situated in Warri South LGA of Delta State.
On arrival, he said the suspects fled as the team recovered 40 MT of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), one pumping machine and some hoses with which the criminals operated.
In the same vein, Ezekobe stated that the patrol team on September 2, deployed by FOB Escravos located and destroyed an illegal oil refinery as well as a large Cotonou boat laden with product suspected to be stolen crude oil.
He said: “In the course of the operation one Mr. Endurance Okogba Edirin was arrested for involvement in the operations of the illegal refinery and suspected crude oil theft in Ekpemu cooking camp at Ekpemu Creek in Warri South West LGA in Delta State.
“Some items recovered were 2 mobile phones, one pumping machine and hoses. In all the cases, investigations have commenced and the suspects would be promptly handed over to the prosecuting agencies for further action.”
The Naval Spokesman also appealed to the general public especially those with legitimate businesses in the maritime sector to avoid criminal acts as the service is willing, able and ready to carry out its constitutional mandate of protecting the economic assets of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
*Senator Iroegbu – Thisday