Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Illegal bunkering: JTF nabs vessel, 2-man crew

1 November 2011

Yenagoa—Joint Task Force, JTF, in the Niger Delta, codenamed Operation Restore Hope, has impounded a vessel, MT ZIA, carrying over 5,000 tons of illegally refined diesel in the Akassa waterway of Bayelsa State. JTF has also promised to take the fight to the sponsors of the illegal business with a view stopping it.

Also arrested were the vessel’s two-man crew.

Media Coordinator of JTF, Lt Col. Timothy Antigha, who disclosed this in Yenagoa, said about 5000 tons of illegally refined diesel, four Geepee storage tanks with capacity of 7,500 litres each, three drums containing 250 litres of illegal diesel each, six electric pumping machines and several hoses were found in the impounded vessel.

He said: “In an effort to dislodge illegal refinery operators and crude oil thieves in the Niger Delta region, JTF has impounded another vessel engaged in the lifting of illegally refined petroleum products on Akasa River in Brass council of Bayelsa State.

“You would recall that barely one week ago, JTF impounded a vessel, MV Omiesam, 46 suspects and 13 Cotonu boats conveying illegally refined diesel on the same River Akasa.”

He explained that in the last one month, the force impounded four AK 47 assault rifles, 203 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition, 11 Dynamites, one barge with stolen crude oil and one wooden boat with illegally refined diesel.

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