JTF arrests 21 suspects, impounds oil vessel

(m) at 22-04-2013 05:13AM (6 years ago)

(8422 | Hero)

Joint Task Force, codenamed Operation Pulo Shield, has arrested 21 suspected oil thieves after conducting anti-oil raids along the creeks of the Niger Delta region.
 
The Media Coordinator, JTF, Lt. Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, said one of the raids resulted in the arrest of a vessel christened, SEA EXPRESS, which was laden with 2,500 metric tonnes of suspected stolen petroleum product.

Nwachukwu, in a statement in Yenagoa on Sunday, said the vessel was impounded by the operatives of the Sector 2 Command of the outfit along Okuboto creek, Bayelsa State.
 
“The vessel was on the verge of filling the fourth of its compartments before it was intercepted by a team of operatives from Sector 2 of the JTF. The suspects and the vessel are in custody of Headquarters Sector 2 for preliminary investigations before handing over to a prosecuting agency,” the statement said.
 
Nwachukwu said the operatives also arrested a barge christened MONOVO-2, which engaged in oil theft along the Golubo creek of Bayelsa State.
 
He, however, said the crew on board the barge abandoned it and fled into the mangrove forest on sighting the operatives of the JTF.
 
He said the barge had been towed to AGIP Brass Terminal for safe custody, adding that preliminary investigation was ongoing to unmask the owners of the vessel.
 
He said the operatives also impounded 30 open boats, conveying illegally cooked petroleum products in a separate operation along the Ugborodo communities in Delta State.