The Joint Military Task Force in the Niger Delta has said it has arrested more than nine oil thieves and destroyed about 31 illegal refineries. The Punch reports.
JTF also said it intercepted an illegal bunkering tugboat, christened ‘MV Tobester’, loaded with suspected illegally refined Automated Gas Oil along Tonmogbene area in Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State.
Spokesman for the JTF, Lt.-Col. Mustapha Anka in a statement released on Tuesday said the Captain of the tugboat, Mr. Akinfemiwa Bojo, and the engineer, Mr. Solomon Ogunlona, on board the vessel were also arrested and handed over to sector 2 of the JTF for investigation before they will be handed over to prosecuting agency.
“Thirteen illegal oil distillation camps were also destroyed around Gbarum Market in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State where oil thieves operate with plastic tanks filled with suspected illegally acquired crude oil.
“The sites and the equipment were destroyed along with the trucks and products. Other items discovered include 32 plastic tankers with capacity of 200 litres each filled with substance suspected to be stolen crude oil siphoned from an oil well head. ”
The spokesman said in the Sector 2 area, JTF troops patrolling along Igbemotoru area scuttled 18 illegal crude oil refineries where oil thieves operated with seven Cotonou boats filled with stolen diesel and 13 illegal storing facilities.
He said the camps and the products were destroyed, while seven suspects were also arrested along Nonwa Tai Road operating a truck containing 160 drums of stolen oil.
Anka said the truck was destroyed while suspects were handed over to the JTF for further action.