500,000 – litre stolen crude vessels intercepted by JTF, 17 arrested

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The Joint Task Force Operation Delta Safe has arrested 17 persons and impounded two vessels laden with illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil.

The Commander of OPDS, Rear Admiral John Okeke, made the disclosure to newsmen at Onne, Rivers, on Wednesday.

He said the 17 persons were crew members of the two vessels.

According to the commander, one of the vessels, MV King James, was laden with 400,000 litres of diesel, while the other, MV Messiah 1, carried 100,000 litres of diesel.

He said OPDS impounded the vessels at the Federal Ocean Terminal at Onne.

The commander told journalists that OPDS arrested the crew members on the Onne River.

He said MV King James was impounded with seven crew members while MV Messiah 1 was arrested with 10 crew members.

Okeke said the recovered petroleum product had been handed over to the Nigerian Navy Ship Pathfinder.

He gave the assurance that the arrested persons would be handed over to the appropriate authorities for possible prosecution.

He said the vessels had no approval and legitimate documents to carry the product.

“The OPDS, which I represent for the navy, is the statutory agency for oil approvals. It means that when a vessel is found without requisite documents, it has defaulted,” he said.

Okeke advised those indulging in oil theft, illegal oil refining and other illegalities to stop the acts and engage in legitimate businesses, or be prepared to face the full wrath of the law.

Credit -Punch

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