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Bayelsa: JTF uncovers 50 illegal refining sites at Biseni forest

.Customs intercepts petrol worth N10.8m in Adamawa

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IBRAHIM QUADRI with agency reports


The Joint Military Task Force, Operation Delta Safe, has uncovered no fewer than 50 illegal refining sites within the Biseni forests in Yenagoa Local Government Area, Bayelsa.

The Commander, Rear Adm. John Okeke, who led the operation, told newsmen that illegal refining of stolen crude oil was taking place in each of the sites.

Okeke said that the team discovered a large pit capable of accommodating no fewer than 10 trucks of Alternative Gas Oil, also known as diesels.

”It is from this large pit that they distribute to their illegal refining sites,” he said.

He Recalled that the joint task force had severally warned against illegal oil businesses in the area, and reiterated its commitment to fight the menace

”We have continued to warn, we are not going to relent. We will not get tired, we will continue to work, we shall locate them wherever they are.

”Our team moved from Ahoada-West in Rivers to discover these 50 illegal refining sites in Biseni, Bayelsa,” he said. Okeke said that oil theft and illegal refining of crude oil had become a huge source of worry in the region.

He urged the public to always support the task force with credible information to track down on illegal oil refiners.

”We can’t do it alone, we need the support of the public. You can’t imagine that such activities will be ongoing in this thick forest except with reliable intelligence,” he said.(NAN)


.Customs intercepts petrol worth N10.8m in Adamawa

Meanwhile, the Adamawa/Taraba command of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) says it has recently seized 12,435 liters of petrol worth N10.8 million.

The Customs Area Comptroller in charge of the command, Bashir Garba-Bature made the disclosure while briefing newsmen in Yola.

According to him, the seized items included 491×25lt and 8× 20lt jerry cans of the commodity, saying that the petroleum was intercepted in Mubi en route the Cameroon Republic.

“The command officers while on Anti-smuggling operations along the border frontiers within the period of two weeks had recorded (05) incidents of interception of PMS on its way to the neighbouring Cameroon Republic,” he said.

He assured that the command would sustain the fight against the menace of smuggling, saying: “we have strategically deployed our operatives along the flashpoints.”

Bature solicited the cooperation, understanding and collaboration of relevant stakeholders such as the media, sister security agencies and patriotic citizens to effectively put an end to the ugly trend of smuggling.

“We attributed the successes recorded to the unwavering support and encouragement being extended to us by the current leadership of the service under our Comptroller-General, Mr Bashir Adeniyi,” he said.

Similarly, the Nigeria Customs Service, Western Marine Command, intercepted 12,500 litres of Premium Motor Spirit, commonly known as petrol, valued at N8,750,000 along the Isalu Creek Badagry Waterways en route Benin Republic.

According to a statement on by the NCS on Sunday, the Customs Area Controller, Comptroller Paul Bamisaiye, revealed this at the command’s headquarters on Friday.

The statement read, “At about 2330hrs on Wednesday, 8 May 2024, while on joint patrol based on credible intelligence, we received the movement of two boats laden with what was suspected to be petroleum products concealed in sacks. Upon receipt of the information, the team moved into Isalu Creeks Badagry Waterway.

“The Customs Area Controller stated that careful examination of the seizure at the Command Headquarters revealed 177 sacks and 61 kegs of 25 Litres Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) containing 12,500 Liters with a total Duty Paid Value standing at N8,750,000.”

Bamisaiye warned smugglers to desist from their acts or risk arrest, stating that the action of the smugglers contravenes Sections 245 and 254 of the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023.

He was quoted as saying, “There’s a strong warning to the economic importance of this kind of seizure at a time of fuel scarcity cannot be over-emphasised.

“People are suffering due to artificial scarcity, but they are busy smuggling these products outside the country to make money. It’s either they stop this act, or we continue to arrest them. We have zero tolerance for this act.”


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