Yesterday, the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) confirmed that the vessel apprehended with stolen crude oil was instantly destroyed as mandated by standard procedure. Maj.-Gen. Edward Buba, the Director of Defence Media Operations, explained during a briefing in Abuja that the procedure demands immediate destruction of any vehicle, vessel, or equipment associated with crude oil theft.
The vessel in question, MT TURA II, was intercepted on July 7 while transporting 150,000 metric tonnes of stolen crude oil from Nigeria to Cameroon. It had 11 Nigerians and one Ghanaian onboard. The vessel was set on fire on July 11 at a creek near Bennett Island in Warri South-West Local Government of Delta State.
Further details about the vessel revealed that it had a tank capacity of 800,000 liters, but upon inspection, it was found that only two compartments contained approximately 150 metric tonnes, equivalent to around 178,000 liters. The arrested vessel had previously been known as ALI RITA BEY, and the investigation indicated that it had been engaged in similar illegal activities for over four years.
In addition to this operation, troops of Operation Delta Safe conducted successful raids in which they discovered and destroyed 23 illegal refining sites, 15 wooden boats, 34 storage tanks, and 96 ovens in the past two weeks. They also recovered 367,200 liters of crude oil and 150 liters of Automotive Gas Oil.
Moreover, in the Southeast region, troops of Operation UDO KA engaged in a gunfight with an Indigenous People of Biafra/Eastern Security Network (IPOB/ESN) fighter at the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Uburu in Ohaozara Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, resulting in the death of the assailant and the arrest of 12 suspects. Several other raids were carried out in different locations, leading to the arrest of several suspected criminals and the recovery of firearms and ammunition.
The DHQ’s efforts demonstrate their commitment to combating crude oil theft and illegal activities, as well as maintaining security and order in the region.