Oil Theft: Navy Intercepts 14 Vessels, 90 Boats, 74 Suspects In Niger Delta

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The Nigerian Navy said its personnel under the aegis of ‘Operation Delta Sanity’ have arrested 14 motor tanker vessels as well 90 wooden boats and 74 suspected oil thieves in the Niger Delta region in three months.
The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla, disclosed this on Thursday while addressing journalists at the headquarters of the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Pathfinder in Port Harcourt.
“Relatively, ‘Operation Delta Sanity’ has recorded successes, which includes seized wooden boats, numbering over 90, we have deactivated storage tanks used for illegal refining sites, more than 119 of them, we have deactivated several dug-out pits, all used for illegal refining sites.
“We have also recorded successes in terms of seized fiber boats, arrested vehicles and over 74 suspects. Of note are the recent arrests of over 14 large motor tanker vessels, including MT Kally, MT Habour Spirit, MT Size Nail, MT Okito, MT Bullarerious and MT Sweet Mary,” Ogalla said.
He announced the extension of the duration of ‘Operation Delta Sanity’, which was launched in January 2024, to combat crude oil theft and other criminalities particularly in the Niger Delta region, by another 90 days.
The CNS said: “You will all recall that on January 6, 2024, I launched ‘Operation Delta Sanity’ to combat crude oil theft and other criminalities particularly in the Niger Delta area. This is in line with the President and Commander-in-Chief’s directive to eradicate oil theft and ramp up Nigeria’s oil production towards an improved economy.
“It is also in line with my vision for the Nigerian Navy, which is to emplace a highly motivated, professional Naval force, capable of shaping the security outcomes within the Nigerian maritime domain and the littorals, including land-based engagements in fulfilment of Nigeria’s national interest.
“Accordingly, ‘Operation Delta Sanity’ was conceptualised as a major anti-crude oil theft operation and we deployed Nigerian Navy personnel, platforms, helicopters and UAVs, amongst others on aggressive surveillance and interdiction operations across the Niger Delta area. Commands, units and bases were directed to put knectic and non-knectic operations to stem the tide of maritime criminalities.
“Initial duration of the operation was 90 days. So far, ‘Operation Delta Sanity’ has been a success. The operation has denied oil thieves and vandals across various parts of Niger Delta freedom of action in our maritime environment, from Bayelsa to Ondo State, Rivers to Akwa Ibom State and beyond.
“With the recovery of massive quantities of stolen crude oil products, dismantling of illegal refining sites, arrest of suspects, seizure of stolen products, all which has underscored the resolve of the Nigerian Navy to stamp out crude oil theft,” Ogalla said.


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