June 19, 2024

Oil theft: NAF airstrikes destroy boats, tanks ferrying stolen crude oil in Rivers state 




Oredola Adeola


Air Component of Operation Delta Safe (OPDS) has continued its fight against oil thieves and their accomplices in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria, conducting airstrikes against boats and tanks ferrying stolen crude oil in the region.


This was confirmed in a statement released by Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, Director of Public Relations and Information, Nigerian Air Force, and obtained by EnergyDay on Monday.


According to the statement the successful airstrikes occurred on Saturday 5 August 2023 at about 4 Nautical Miles South-East of Bille, a riverine area located west of Bonny Island and South of Port Harcourt, in Rivers State.


He said, “The air strikes became necessary after 3 boats were sighted tapping crude oil from a pipeline. Consequently, the boats were engaged and destroyed by the aircraft.


“Flying towards Port Harcourt, the crew also observed an active illegal refining site with tanks and reservoirs loaded with suspected illegal refined products, about 4 miles South-east of Idama in Rivers State. The site was subsequently attacked and destroyed.


Gabkwet further noted that the air strikes against these economic saboteurs will be sustained until they desist from their acts of thievery and economic sabotage.


He therefore emphasised that Air Marshal Hasan Abubakar, Chief of the Air Staff, has directed all air component commanders nationwide to ensure they team up with other security agencies as they sustain air strikes on all criminal elements in the country.


“The days of treating criminal elements in our country with kids’ gloves is over. We must continue on this trajectory until we bring all of them to their knees,” Chief of the Air Staff said.


EnergyDay’s check showed that the Operation Delta Safe, in July 2023, conducted an air strike on an illegal oil refining site located at Dariama Village, Port Harcourt in Rivers State.