A recent development has brought to light the intricate web of criminal activities involving stolen crude oil, as a suspect has come forward with revelations. The suspect, Paul Obriku, hailing from Cross Rivers State, disclosed that he has been receiving a payment of N50,000 to oversee the security of a vessel employed by oil thieves for their illicit operations. The vessel serves as a storage unit for the stolen crude oil, and Obriku’s role revolves around safeguarding this operation.

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    According to Obriku’s confession, the modus operandi of these oil thieves involves transporting the stolen crude oil into the vessel through the use of GeePee tanks. This method allows them to covertly load the vessel with the illicit product, evading detection. Obriku, who identifies himself as a civilian security personnel, has maintained that his role is limited to ensuring the security of the vessel and its contents. He claims that he was unaware of the illegal nature of the petroleum products being stored within the facility.

    Obriku sheds light on the organizational hierarchy involved in these activities, revealing that there are individuals above him who authorize the operations. He mentions names such as Solo and Jasper, who serve as directors, overseeing the illicit operations. Additionally, he acknowledges the presence of other individuals engaged in this endeavor, although their presence is not consistent.

    However, Rear Admiral Olusegun Ferreira, the Commander of Operation Delta Safe (OPDS), has provided a comprehensive perspective on the situation. Rear Admiral Ferreira, represented by Commodore Adedokun Siyanbade, the Marine Component Commander of OPDS, has revealed that the recent seizures and arrests were the outcome of covert operations driven by credible intelligence. These operations targeted vessels engaged in illegal activities related to stolen crude oil.

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    One such operation led to the apprehension of the MV Cecelia Imo, a vessel that was initially intended to serve as a service boat. However, it had been transformed into a storage tank for illegally refined petroleum products, suspected to be Automotive Gas Oil (AGO). The vessel’s capacity to hold 350,000 liters of this illegal substance is indicative of the scale of the illicit operations being carried out. Disturbingly, it was discovered that even the water tank of the vessel had been repurposed to accommodate the storage of this illegal product.

    The vessel, which had remained inactive at sea for a staggering two years, had been repurposed by illegal refiners for their storage and distribution needs. This covert transformation underscores the audacity of those involved in these operations and highlights the complexity of the criminal network. The recent developments underscore the need for stringent law enforcement and collaborative efforts to curtail the thriving trade of stolen crude oil and its subsequent illegal refinement and distribution.

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