The Joint Task Force, Operation Delta Safe (OPDS) has arrested an MV Mother Mary, vessel with 300,000 litres of illegally refined AGO(Diesel) as well as two of its crew members in Rivers state.
OPDS seized the vessel at the Federal Ocean Terminal in Onne, Eleme Council Area of Rivers on the Bonny River.
Addressing journalists in Port Harcourt on Thursday, the Component Commander OPDS, Commodore John Siyanbade, who represented the OPDS Commander, Rear Adm. Olusegun Ferreira disclosed that the vessel was arrested on the 29th of October, 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.
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 Commander also stated that the two arrested suspects will be handed over to the appropriate authorities for possible prosecution while warning all those who are involved in any form of illegality to stop immediately or the long arm of the law will catch up with them.