In furtherance of Operation DAKATAR DA BARAWO (OPDDB) launched by the Nigerian Navy on 1st April 2022, the Service’s unrelenting effort to check increasing Crude Oil Theft (COT) and related acts of economic sabotage has recorded more arrests and seizures between 15-23 April 2022 being the third week of the operation. In a statement signed by the Director of Information Nigerian Navy Commodore Ayo Vaughan.
He reels out that on the 15th of April 2022, Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) DELTA at Warri, deactivated an Illegal Refining Site (IRS) around Sara creek. The IRS had 16 ovens, 16 metal storage tanks and 3 wide pits filled with about 500,000 litres of illegally refined AGO, as well as 700,000 litres of stolen crude oil, a generator and 4 pumping machines. Also, an IRS at Asugbo creek in Warri was discovered with 6 ovens, 12 metal storage tanks and 5 large pits all containing about 600,000 litres of stolen crude oil including 200,000 litres of illegally refined AGO and about 150,000 litres of sludge. The statement further reels out that, sequel to series of air reconnaissance, Forward Operating Base (FOB) FORMOSO in Bayelsa State on 19th of April 2022, raided an IRS at Ereweibio creek in Brass LGA. Accordingly, 7 large cooking ovens, 10 large metal storage tanks and drums all laden with about 400,000 litres of illegally refined AGO and 20,000 litres of suspected illegally refined PMS were discovered. The site also had 5 large pits holding approximately 700,000 litres of stolen crude oil. Equally, 2 pumping machines, one gasoline generator, one submersible pump and one chainsaw machine were discovered at the site and destroyed in site.
Meanwhile, on 21th April 2022, an IRS at Lelemu creek in Warri South-West was discovered. During the operation, 19 ovens, 26 metal storage tanks and 2 dugout pits laden with about 250,000 litres of suspected stolen crude oil and 50,000 litres of illegally refined AGO were destroyed. To ensure effective deactivation of IRS, NNS DELTA on 21 April 2022 conducted swamp buggy operations during which an earlier identified IRS around Egwa creek in Warri was destroyed. During the operation, 16 ovens, 31 metal storage tanks and 7 large pits all filled with about 850,000 litres of stolen crude oil were equally deactivated. Relatedly, on 22 April 2022, around Lelemu creek in Warri South West LGA of Delta State, personnel under NNS DELTA again discovered 22 IRS ovens, 12 metallic storage tanks and 5 large pits all containing about 150,000 litres of stolen crude oil. At another IRS off Lelemu creek, 19 ovens, 42 storage tanks and 14 large pits containing about 300,000 litres of stolen crude oil, as well as approximately 200,000 litres of illegally refined AGO, 100,000 litres of illegally refined DPK and 100,000 litres of suspected crude oil sludge were all destroyed.
In a related but unprecedented development, NNS LUGARD at Kogi State in the course of OPDDB discovered an IRS on 22 April 2022, at a location off Akili-Ozizor community of Ogbaru LGA, Anambra State. During the operation, 4 locally fabricated ovens, 7 metal storage tanks, 4 large pits of which 2 were for storage of about 48,000 Litres of stolen crude oil were all destroyed. On the same day, NNS VICTORY in Calabar raided tanker garage along Harbour road in the city and seized a storage tank containing about 45,000 Litres of suspected illegally refined AGO. Also, a tanker laden with 33,000 Litres of suspected locally refined AGO was seized and the owner was arrested. Furthermore, about 58 drums of locally refined AGO were also seized.