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Illegal bunkering: Navy arrests ship with 200,000 tonnes of petrol

Posted by Sola Adebayo, Warri on 2005/06/16 | Views: 303 |

Illegal bunkering: Navy arrests ship with 200,000 tonnes of petrol


An ocean--going barge laden with 200,000 metric tonnes of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly known as petrol, was on Monday evening arrested.

An ocean--going barge laden with 200,000 metric tonnes of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly known as petrol, was on Monday evening arrested.

The arrest was efected by the personnel of NNS Delta, Warri Naval Base and the Joint Task Force in the Niger Delta, codenamed Operation Restore Hope.

Five persons aboard the barge were being detained at 7th Battalion headquarters of JTF, as at 6.00pm on Tuesday.

The barge was apprehended less than two hours after President Olusegun Obasanjo ordered the armed forces and other security agencies to eradicate sharp practices associated with petroleum products in the Niger Delta.

The barge was arrested at Ogunu Creeks in Warri South Local Government, Delta State at about 5pm, on Monday.

Monday’s arrest of the barge came barely two weeks after men of the NNS Delta, apprehended another facility containing 250,000 metric tonnes of crude oil reportedly siphoned from the flow line of Shell Petroleum Development Company at Chanomi Creeks, in Warri North Local Government.

Our correspondent learnt that the latest development was made possible by information made available to the Commander of JTF, Brig. Gen. Elias Zamani, and Commanding Officer of NNS Delta, Navy Capt. Jacob Ajani.

It was gathered that Zamani and Ajani assembled a joint team, which accosted the barge that was about to sail into the sea.

Subsequently, the barge was diverted to the jetty of NNS Delta, while the crew members were taken to the 7th Battalion headquarters for interrogation.

The facility was anchored at the jetty on Tuesday evening.

Our correspondent could not ascertain if the products were from illegal petroleum refineries allegedly operating in the Niger Delta or from the flow line of the Pipeline and Products Marketing Company, a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.

A PPMC flow line, which conveys refined petroleum products from Warri Refinery to Benin Depot transverses the area, according to sources.

It was gathered that seven of the twelve persons initially arrested in connection with the incident on Monday were freed for want of evidence.

Zamani and Ajani who spoke to our correspondent in separate interviews confirmed the incident.

Specifically, Ajani said a report of the incident had been forwarded to the Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Samuel Afolayan, and the Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Simbiliyu Timson.

Ajani added that the suspects would be handed over to the appropriate agencies for prosecution at the end of the on going preliminary investigation by the armed forces.

He said the NNS Delta would not relent in its war against illegal oil bunkering.

Ajani commended members of the public for divulging information and urged them to keep it up.

The Punch, Wednesday, June 15, 2005

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Comments (3)

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Abieyuwa(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Otasowie means evening life is better than morning life. There is an error in your “evening life is better than evening life”?

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Naija g(Houston, Minnesota, US)says...

Sokari doesn’t mean joy. Joy is Biobela. Go to the village and ask the meaning of the name.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.