Operation Delta Safe (OPDS), a Joint Task Force has captured eight vessels transporting over 100,000 litres of tainted diesel in Rivers.
This was disclosed to media in Bonny on Sunday by Real Adm. Olusegun Ferreira, Commander, Joint Task Force, South-South, OPDS, while delivering the captured barges and petroleum product.
He added that during a stop and search operation across multiple waterways, security forces seized the vessels with contaminated diesel.
Ferreira, who was represented by OPDS Maritime Component Commander Commodore Adedokun Siyanbade, said the seizure was in keeping with the task forces’ duty to clear the Niger Delta of crude oil theft and criminality.
“The seizures were done as part of the directives given to OPDS by the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Christopher Musa, to ensure total eradication of crude oil theft.
“Acting on this directive, the OPDS pushed further its operations resulting in the arrest of eight barges laden with suspected illegally refined diesel Automotive Gas Oil (diesel).
“The barges cumulatively had over 100,000 litres of diesel stored inside different compartments in Bonny area, Rivers,” he said.
He stated that no arrests had been made, but that troops were on the lookout for the operators of the impounded vessel.
“OPDS in collaboration with other security agencies within the joint operation areas will not relent in our efforts to ensure that crude oil theft is stopped at all costs.
“Those involved in this illegal activity should look out for legitimate business to do because we will not relent until they are caught and stopped.
“Further investigations are being carried out on the seized petroleum products in-line with the mandate given to us by the government,” he added.
Ferreira stated that the task force will not tolerate acts of sabotage against oil and gas installations or unlawful deals in petroleum products.