Illegal Oil Vessel Seized, 10 Crew Members Arrested in Rivers
The MV Ofuoma, an oil vessel, and her ten crew members were detained by the Operation Delta Safe (OPDS) joint task force for transporting “illegally refined petroleum products” in Rivers state.
The Nigerian Navy ship Pathfinder detained the MV Ofuoma on August 15 at the Abuloma jetty in Port Harcourt, according to John Siyanbade, the component commander of the task force.
Rear Admiral Olusegun Ferreira’s representative, Siyanbade, made the claim at the scene, claiming that the ship served as a repository for illegally refined petroleum products.
“The vessel was receiving product suspected to be illegally refined AGO from a dugout wooden boat alongside it,” he said.
“As it was intercepted by OPDS, about 20,000 litres of the product have already been transferred from the dugout boat to the vessel. Currently, we have about 35,000 litres still remaining on board.
“The operation was conducted by troops of the JTF Operation Delta Safe Headquarters.”
Siyanbade said the 10 suspects intercepted comprise 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,” the commander said.
The task team, he continued, will not give up on its mission to end crude oil theft and other forms of criminal activity in the area.
Before being arrested, Siyanbade recommended those involved to look for legal employment.