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Joint Task Force busts illegal diesel operation, arrests two in Rivers

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Joint Task Force busts illegal diesel operation, arrests two in Rivers

The Joint Task Force, Operation Delta Safe (OPDS), has arrested the MV Mother Mary vessel with 300,000 litres of illegally refined AGO (diesel) and two of its crew members in Rivers State, Nigeria.

The vessel was seized at the Federal Ocean Terminal in Onne, Eleme Council Area of Rivers, on the Bonny River.

In a press briefing in Port Harcourt on Thursday, Commodore John Siyanbade, who represented the OPDS Commander, Rear Adm. Olusegun Ferreira, disclosed that the vessel was arrested on October 29, 2023.

“The vessel which was arrested by teams from Headquarters Operation OPDS was leaving with over 300,000 litres of illegally refined products suspected to be AGO and with two suspects onboard at the time of arrest.

“The product was illegally sourced and the vessel was used as storage for this illegal product,” Commandant Siyanbade said.

READ ALSO: Military intensifies efforts against crude oil theft, deactivates 53 illegal refining sites

He also indicated that before Sunday’s seizure, OPDS had impounded two vessels, MV Cecilia and MV Ufuoma, which were being used for illegal activities.

“Vessels like this are being used as storage tanks for crude brought from illegal refining sites and other vessels and tankers take from them to go and sell to the public.

“In recent times it has been found that some well-known companies and organisations have patronised these markets and this seems to be the biggest market for those illegally refining crude.

“OPDS will continue to handle illegal refining sites but going forward more effort will be put into the logistic chain cut-off.”

The two arrested suspects will be handed over to the appropriate authorities for possible prosecution, and the commander warned anyone involved in any form of illegality to stop immediately or face the consequences.

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