The Nigerian Navy Forward Operating Base (FOB) in Igbokoda, Ondo State, has made a major breakthrough in the fight against illegal oil bunkering.
The base’s anti-Crude Oil Theft (COT) patrol team intercepted and destroyed a wooden boat carrying 15,775 litres of crude oil stolen from the oil fields in the Ilaje axis of the state.
The Commanding Officer of the base, Captain Wasuku Alushi, said the operation was in line with the mandate of the joint taskforce Operation Delta Safe, which aims to curb the activities of oil thieves and other criminals in the Niger Delta region. He estimated the value of the seized products to be N13,251,000.
According to Commander Humphrey Nnaji, who spoke on behalf of Alushi, the patrol team acted on credible intelligence that revealed the location and movement of the oil smugglers.
The team tracked and intercepted the boat, which was locally known as a “Cotonou”, about 12 nautical miles off the coast of Ojumole and Obe communities in the Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State.
He said the smugglers abandoned the boat and fled when they saw the naval personnel approaching. The patrol team then took custody of the boat and its contents and brought them to the base for further investigation and destruction.
He reiterated the commitment of the base to stamp out the menace of COT and other crimes in Igbokoda and its environs.
He said the base will intensify surveillance and patrol within the axis and urged the public to cooperate with the navy and other security agencies in the fight against oil theft and other criminal activities.