The Joint Task Force in the Niger Delta codenamed Operation Pulo Shield Sunday said it has impounded a vessel allegedly involved in crude oil theft in the creek of Bayelsa State.
Media coordinator of the JTF, Lt. Col Onyema Nwachukwu said the vessel christened, Erishna Dolphin, was intercepted by troops of 343 Regiment of Sector 2 JTF along Obi Creek in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the state.
Nwachukwu in a statement made available to Vanguard in Yenagoa said the impounded vessel is being secured by operatives of the task force pending recovery to Brass terminal.
He also disclosed that eleven oil theft suspects operating two barges laden with 7,500 and 500,000 litres of adulterated Automated Gas Oil illegally distilled from stolen crude oil were arrested respectively at Bakana creek and Abonema water front in Rivers State by troops of 146 Battalion of JTF, Sector 2 for engaging in oil theft activities.
The JTF Media Coordinator said, “the barges which are now secured at Abonema Wharf were intercepted during one of the anti-oil theft patrols carried out by Gun Boat troops of the Battalion.
“The suspects have been taken into custody by Headquarters Sector 2 to help in preliminary investigations, after which they will be handed over to an appropriate agency for prosecution.”
According to him, “in similar anti illegal oil bunkering and anti pipeline vandalism operations, a total of 21 illegal oil distilleries and 41 pumping machines have been scuttled in Ondo, Edo and Delta states.