Bonny - The Nigerian Navy on Monday said it impounded two badges carrying 285 tonnes of crude oil valued N50 million off Bonny island in Rivers.
The Commanding Officer, Forward Operating Base, Bonny, Capt. Hassan Dogara, told newsmen in Bonny that 11 suspects were arrested during the raid on April 23.
The media reports that out of the 285 tonnes 55 of the suspected stolen crude oil were set ablaze.
Dogara said that troops were able to save 230 tonnes because the badges were spilling the product into the creeks and polluting the environment.
“Troops under my command on April 23 intercepted and arrested two-wooden badges containing an estimated 230 tonnes of suspected crude oil during a routine patrol of our area of responsibility.”
“While our operatives approached the scene of the crime, the perpetrators’ escaped, but we were able to arrest 11 suspects afterwards, impounded five speed boats and five patrol engines.”
“The badges which were filled to the brim, had several leakages, and so, spilled its content into the creeks and in the surrounding environment.”
“In view of this development, troops quickly moved in and saved 230 tonnes; destroyed the badges with about 55 tonnes-leftover of the product to avoid further degradation of the environment,” he said.
Dogara said that 230 tonnes of the product were with the Navy, awaiting further directives from the Eastern Naval Command.
He said the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Adm. Usman Jubrin, had ordered strategic deployment of troops on waterways to stop oil thieves, pipeline vandals and sea piracy.
The commander said the navy would continue to conduct 24-hour surveillance of waterway to stop illegalities on the nation’s maritime domain and attacks on oil installations.
“The fight against oil theft is the collective responsibility of every Nigerian, and so, citizens must provide security agencies with timely information to ensure economic growth of the country,” Dogara said.
The media reports that operatives from the Army, Police, Immigration, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps and officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency participated in the destruction exercise.
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