THE Joint Task Force Operation Delta Safe (OPDS), on Tuesday arrested an oil vessel MV Ofuoma and 10 crew members conveying alleged illegally refined petroleum products in Rivers.
The Component Commander OPDS, Commodore John Siyanbade, who represented the OPDS Commander, Rear Adm. Olusegun Ferreira said MV Ofuoma was arrested on Aug. 15, at Abuloma jetty in Port-Harcourt by the Nigerian Navy Ship, Pathfinder.
According to him, the vessel is being used as a storage facility for illegally refined oil products.
He said: “The vessel was receiving product suspected to be illegally refined AGO from a dug-out wooden boat alongside it.
“As it was intercepted by OPDS, about 20,000 litres of the product have already been transferred from the dug-out boat to the vessel. Currently we have about 35,000 litres still remaining on board as you have seen.
“The operation was conducted by troops of the JTF Operation Delta Safe Headquarters.”
The commander said that the 10 suspects intercepted included both the crew on board the vessel and those on the boat.
“The suspects have given credible information about where they source the product from; operation is ongoing to deactivate the illegal refining site in the area and the operation will be for some time.”He assured that the OPDS would not relent in the efforts to eradicate crude oil theft and other forms of illegality in the region, and warned those involved to look for legitimate means of livelihood before they are caught. nan