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Naval boss extends operation to eradicate oil theft by 90 days

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The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla, has extended an operation inaugurated on January 6, 2024, to combat oil theft and related crimes by the Nigerian Navy’s Operation Delta Sanity for 90 days more.

This is in line with President Bola Tinubu’s directive to eradicate crude oil theft and ramp up Nigeria’s production for an improved economy.

According to the PUNCH, a statement on Wednesday, by the Director, Naval Information, Commodore A. Adams-Aliu, stated that Operation Delta Sanity involved the deployment of personnel, platforms, helicopters and UAVs on aggressive surveillance and interdiction operations across the Niger Delta area.

According to him, the Naval Chief who was represented by the Chief of Training and Operations, Rear Admiral Olusegun Ferreira, disclosed the extension onboard Nigerian Navy Ship Okpabana at Onne, Rivers State.

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He said, “The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ikechukwu Ogalla has extended the Nigerian Navy’s Operation Delta Sanity by 90 days. Operation Delta Sanity was launched on January 6, 2024, to combat oil theft and related crimes. This is in line with the President and Commander-in-Chief’s directive to eradicate crude oil theft and ramp up Nigeria’s production for an improved economy.

“Accordingly, Operation Delta Sanity involved the deployment of personnel, platforms, helicopters and UAVs on aggressive surveillance and interdiction operations across the Niger Delta area. The successes were immediate and remarkable including the recovery of massive quantities of stolen products, the dismantling of Illegal Refining Sites, the arrest of suspects and the seizure of stolen products. Hence, the Operation was extended to April 2024 for 90 days.

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“While assessing the achievements of the operation during a Press Briefing on Tuesday, July 9, 2024, the Commander Task Group, Rear Admiral Samson Bura stated that since the extension in April 2024, a total of 22 suspects have been arrested and about 122 Illegal Refinery Sites were deactivated.”

He added that a total of 57 boats and 65 storage storage tanks were deactivated while 6 vessels were arrested.

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“Furthermore, large quantities of crude oil and illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil were seized and appropriately handled. Also, a total of 57 wooden boats, 45 dugout pits and 65 storage tanks were deactivated while 6 vessels were arrested. Additionally, several items and equipment used in the construction of illegal refineries were seized.

“The achievements and successes of Op Delta Sanity underscore the need for the operation to be extended. Hence the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ikechukwu Ogalla has approved the extension of Operation Delta Sanity for a further 90 days effective from July 10, 2024,” the statement added.

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