The Nigerian Navy said it has destroyed over 15,000 litres of crude oil along the shores of Ojumole and Obe creeks in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo.
The illegally refined crude, worth over 13 million naira, was intercepted by the men of the anti-crude oil theft patrol team of the Nigerian Navy.
Wasuku Alushi, commanding officer of the Navy Forward Operating Base in Igbokoda, disclosed this to journalists in a statement issued at the weekend.
Mr Alushi, who was represented by the executive officer of the base, Humphrey Nnaji, said his men tracked the wooden boat popularly referred to as a ‘Cotonou boat’ and laden with the illegally refined automotive gas oil through credible intel.
He revealed that as his men were advancing to sustain the fight against illegal bunkering in the creek, the oil thieves abandoned the boat and ran away.
“The wooden boat (conveying the illegal crude oil) was intercepted about 12NM off the coast of adjoining Ojumole and Obe community in Ilaje Local Government area of Ondo state.
“Upon sighting of the naval personnel, the crew abandoned the boat and fled,” Mr Alushi said in the statement.
Revealing other destructions made by the Navy Forwarding Operating Base in the last two months, Mr Alushi stated that the Navy was ready to stamp out the menace of anti-crude oil theft and illegal bunkering activities in the Igbokoda community.
He added that the Base would intensify efforts on its intelligence gathering, robust surveillance and aggressive maritime as well as static deployment of personnel at strategic locations to creeks within the area of operation.
“So, within 6 weeks of the CO’s assumption of command, the Base has made great strides in the arrest and destruction of illegally refined products, all in accordance with OPDS directive/mandate.
“On 13 October 23, 2023, a wooden boat laden with about 2,000 litres of suspected illegally refined crude products was intercepted and destroyed at Awoye.
“In another operation on 18 Oct. 23, based on credible intelligence, the Base discovered an illegal storage site with approximately 5,000 litres of illegal POL products at Ugbo-Nla, which was destroyed in accordance with OPDS directives.”
Speaking further, he said, “In furtherance of the Base operations against COT, on 27 Oct. 23, the Base stormed an IRS at Obe- Akinboye in Obenla community which was observed to be under reactivation for illegal refining of illegally refined AGO which was also destroyed in accordance with the mandate.
“On 30 Oct., the Base also discovered a storage facility for illegal refined products at old market road Igbokoda with 11 x 25 litres containers of illegally refined products totalling 275 litres.
“Most recently, On 14 Nov. 23, an illegal storage site at Mahin was discovered with 96 drums of 30 litres jerrican and 3 x 300 litres drums of illegally refined POL products, approximately 3,500 litres concealed in a storage facility.
“All discovered and destroyed illegal POL products totalling approximately 15,775 litres and valued at around N13,251,000 at current pump price.”
Mr Alushi, however, assured the good people of Igbokoda that the Base was poised to stem the vicious cycle of criminality and provide a stable and peaceful environment for citizens to go about their legitimate businesses without fear or intimidation.