The Eastern Naval Command of the Nigerian Navy on Tuesday said it had arrested 27 vessels involved in illegal bunkering and crude oil theft, while 294 illegal refinery sites were deactivated.
The command’s Outgoing Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Rear Admiral Ibrahim Dewu disclosed this in Calabar while handing over the leadership of the command to his successor, Rear Admiral Olusola Oluwagbire.
Dewu said the arrests were made between February 4 and April 11, 2023.
According to him, the command also sustained effective patrol of its maritime area of responsibility as well as undertook several “clearance and swamp buggy operations” in the backwaters.
He noted that the operations resulted in a considerable reduction of piracy in Nigeria’s maritime domain.
“Within the period under review, from 4 February 4 2022 till date, our sustained operations led to the arrests of 27 vessels engaged in illegal bunkering, crude oil theft and other maritime illegalities.
“Other achievements include deactivation of about 294 illegal refining sites and still counting, destruction and evacuation of illegally refined diesel, kerosine and crude oil and destruction of several pirates as well as kidnappers’ camps.
“It is noteworthy to state that the command also recorded significant achievements in infrastructure development across all the bases and establishments under the command,” he said.
Responding, the new FOC commended his predecessor for the achievements he recorded, and solicited the support and cooperation of officers and men in the command to enable him succeed.
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