A gunboat company of the Sector 2 Anti Illegal Oil Bunkering Team of the Joint Task Force OPERATION PULO SHIELD deployed along Lasogbene Obi Creek in Southern Ijaw local government area of Bayelsa state has intercepted and arrested an illegal oil bunkering vessel, MV FLORIDA, of about 25,000 tonnes in size.
Contained in a statement issued by the public relations officer of the JTF, Lt Col Mustapha Anka, it was learnt that the vessel was containing 1,000 litres of suspected illegally refined Automated Gas Oil (AGO) with eight crew members on board.
The document read: The vessel and the suspects are in the custody of the Joint Task Force for preliminary investigation before handing over to the prosecuting agency.
In another development, a patrol team also scuttled four wooden boats filled with illegally acquired crude oil along Bodo Creek in Rivers state and arrested Mr Pius Kpaa while attempting to load crude oil into a Cotonuo boat from a Shell pipeline.
The statement said the boats and contents were destroyed in situ, while the suspect was handed over to the Joint Task Force for a preliminary investigation before being handed over for prosecution
In a similar operation, The Maritime Component of the JTF Nigeria Navy Ship has also intercepted and scuttled four wooden boats, one welding machine, 3000 drums and 15 dug in pit filled with suspected illegal sourced crude oil in A, ruton and Ugbegin seashores.
Consequently, the statement lauded Major General Emmanuel Atewe’s took over of Command of the Joint Task Force Operation PULO SHIELD on March 8, 2014, and under the period not fewer than seven vessels and barges had been intercepted and arrested for illegal oil bunkering activities.
Also, 85 illegal distillery camps were brought to total extinction while 196 suspects were also arrested, and presently at various stages of prosecution by the prosecuting agencies.