Rivers: Navy Uncovers Illegal Bunkering Site Near NPA | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Rivers: Navy Uncovers Illegal Bunkering Site Near NPA

Posted: Jan 25, 2016 at 8:51 am   /   by   /   comments (0)
By Daniel Abia, P/Harcourt
In the on-going fight to sanitize the nation’s oil sector, the Nigerian Navy said it has uncovered an illegal oil bunkering site at government-owned Ship Builders Yard facility located near the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) in Port Harcourt, Rivers state capital.
Disclosing this much, Commodore Sanusi Ibrahim, Commander of the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Pathfinder, Port Harcourt, who took newsmen to the illegal site on Sunday, said that five suspects were arrested at the scene.
He said that naval troops were immediately deployed to the site at Makoba Beach, shortly after a whistle blower revealed location of the illegal site.
“Following intelligence tip-off, we raided the area and discovered seven different storage facilities in a secret make-shift facility at the Ship Builders Yard very close to Ibeto cement and NPA.
“During investigation, we discovered illegal activities which involved bunkering of illegally refined petroleum products and lifting of diesel to wooden boats, trucks and tanker trucks.
“Several drums loaded with stolen diesel and two trucks waiting to load petroleum products, among other equipment were seen at the site.
“Five suspects, including the driver and three conductors of the trucks were arrested, while others fled the scene on sighting advancing naval operatives,” he said.
Commodore Ibrahim who was represented by Lt.-Cdr. Sunday Haruna, the NNS Pathfinder Base Operation Officer, said that investigations were on going to identify sources of the product and those who patronise the site.
He said the suspects were currently been questioned to disclose identity of the site operators, and also to unravel how the site operated in the area without detection.
“Navy operatives are currently trailing some individuals who have been identified as sponsors and owners of the illegal bunkering site,” he maintained.
Ibrahim, while urging oil thieves to desist from sabotage of oil and gas installations, assured the navy would continue with its 24 hour patrol and community-based intelligence gathering strategy.  
The commander called on the public to continue to provide the navy and other security agencies with timely information to enable it rid the region of oil thieves and pipeline vandals.