Military bombs Cotonou boats stealing crude in Rivers

The Nigerian Air Force has announced the destruction of five Cotonou boats engaged in illicit crude oil siphoning at Cawthorne Channel and Alakri in Rivers State.

Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, the Director of Public Relations and Information for the Nigerian Air Force, revealed in a statement on Tuesday that six illegal refining sites in Rivers State were also targeted and bombed by the air component of Operation Delta Safe. These operations took place between November 12 and 13, based on intelligence reports.

Gabkwet said, “In an effort to combat oil theft and checkmate the activities of economic saboteurs in the Niger Delta region, the air component of Operation Delta Safe has, in the last three days, intensified its air operations, destroying six illegal refining sites and five Cotonou boats in Rivers State.

“On 12 November 2023, intelligence received revealed the sighting of three active illegal refining sites and two Cotonou boats siphoning crude oil from pipelines at Cawthorne Channel and Alakri in Rivers State. The IRS and boats were subsequently engaged and destroyed. Similar strikes were also carried out at Krakama in Rivers State, on the same day, on three Cotonou boats sighted conveying suspected illegal refined products.

“On 13 November 2023, NAF aircraft also struck some sites at Dariama village in Rivers State following an intelligence report of illegal refining activities near the location.

“On arrival, three IRS with tanks, pipes, and pumping machines as well as Cotonou boats loaded with suspected illegally refined products were sighted, engaged, and subsequently destroyed.”

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