Illegal bunkering: Navy arrests 27 vessels, deactivates 294 illegal refinery sites

The Eastern Naval Command of the Nigerian Navy has arrested 27 vessels engaged in illegal bunkering and crude oil theft. They also deactivated 294 illegal refinery sites.

The outgone Flag Officer Commanding, Eastern Naval Command, Rear Adm. Ibrahim Dewu, made this known on Tuesday in Calabar, Cross River State while handing over the command to his successor, Rear Admiral Olusola Oluwagbire.

According to Dewu, the arrests were made between the period he assumed office as flag officer of the command, in February 4, 2022 and when he left the command on April 11, 2023.

He said the command also effectively patrolled its maritime area of responsibility and undertook several “clearance and swamp buggy operations” in the backwaters, adding that the operations resulted in a considerable reduction of piracy in Nigeria’s maritime domain.

He further stated that the command took part in some independent, joint and combined exercises like Operation Calm Waters, Operation Tripartite Border Patrol, Operation Tsare Teku, Operation Gba Pada, Operation Dakatar Da Barawo and Operation Obangame 2023.

“Within the period under review, from February 4, 2022 to date, our sustained operations led to the arrest of 27 vessels engaged in illegal bunkering, crude oil theft and other maritime illegalities.

“Other achievements include deactivation of about 294 illegal refining sites and still counting, destruction and evacuation of illegally refined diesel, kerosine and crude oil and destruction of several pirates as well as kidnappers’ camps.


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