The Joint Task Force (JTF), Operation Delta Safe (OPDS), has intercepted eight barges smuggling over 100,000 litres of adulterated diesel in Rivers.
Real Adm. Olusegun Ferreira, commander, JTF, South-South, OPDS, said this while presenting the seized barges and petroleum product to journalists in Bonny on Sunday.
He said the vessels containing adulterated diesel were impounded by security forces during a stop and search operation across several creeks.
Represented by OPDS maritime component commander, Commodore Adedokun Siyanbade, Mr Ferreira said the seizure was in-line with the task forces’ mandate to rid 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 said no arrest had been made but that troops were currently on the trail of the operators of the seized 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.
Mr Ferreira said the task force had zero tolerance for acts of sabotage of oil and gas installations and illegal dealings in petroleum products.