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Security operatives destroy boat carrying stolen oil in Delta

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Security operatives have, on Saturday, destroyed a crude oil badge carrying 600 barrels of stolen crude oil in Warri, Delta.

The vessel was intercepted by Tantita Security Services Nigeria Ltd (TSSNL) and handed over to military operatives who carried out the destruction.

TSSNL is a security consultant engaged by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) to secure crude oil assets in the Niger Delta.

The barge allegedly used to convey the crude oil to the jetty, was ferried some 20 miles off the coast of Warri where the military was on Saturday.

The military destroyed the barge with thick clouds of black smoke filling the atmosphere in spite of the protestations by journalists against the move, given the expected environmental impact.

TSSNL linked the illegal operation to Mawe Services Limited, a corporate entity approved by the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) to provide services within the confines of lifting sludge.

TSSNL, owned by former agitator, Chief Government Ekpemupolo popularly known as Tompolo and Mason Engineering, were said to have received intelligence two weeks ago as regards the malfeasance ongoing at the facility by Mawe Services Limited.

According to the Executive Director, Operations and Technical, TSSNL, Captain Warredi Enisuoh, further intelligence revealed that a 1,000-metric-ton barge was berthing alongside its jetty, loaded with illegal crude oil declared as sludge.

The barge was said to have been towed by an unidentified tugboat into Mawe Services Ltd’s jetty and left.

A team of operatives with the security outfit reportedly continued to monitor the jetty for suspicious activities.

Enisuoh stated that a sewage truck with number plate JR7750XA was later observed to have visited the jetty twice.

During its third visit on Friday, the truck was said to have been accosted by the operatives who had been keeping a constant vigil over the area.

The inspection carried out reportedly revealed that the substance found inside the tank was not sewage, but crude oil!

The driver was swiftly arrested and handed over to government security operatives.

According to Enisuoh, the driver, in his confession, revealed the destination of the contents, and took the security outfit to another yard inland, also operated by Mawe Services Limited.

He further explained that within Mawe Services Limited’s premises, there were two metallic cylindrical tanks with a capacity of about 45,000 litres each.

He said both tanks had purportedly been inspected and one was found to have been filled up with crude oil.

The driver of the truck reportedly confirmed that he had been transferring the content of the barge into the tank that was filled.

According to the firm, an inspection of the yard security logbook showed that the truck visited the location repeatedly and the content of the truck was clearly spelt out as “crude oil” and not sludge

Enisuoh, however, further disclosed that the illegal tapping of crude oil has drastically reduced at the pipelines due to the synergy between the outfit and security agencies.

He added that crude oil thieves are now said to have resorted to tampering with well heads to steal crude oil.

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