Navy extends Operation Delta Sanity

The Nigeria Navy  says it has extended Operation Delta Sanity by three months in order to eradicate oil theft and illegal bunkering in the Niger-Delta.

Vice Adm. Emmanual Ogalla, the Chief of Naval Staff, spoke on Wednesday during the unveiling of the third phase of the operation aboard the Nigerian Navy warship, NNS Okpabana, at Onne, Rivers.

He said that the navy’s decision to prolong the operation was based on significant successes recorded since commencing on Jan. 10.

“Operation Delta Sanity (Op. DELSAN) was inaugurated to combat the issues of oil theft, illegal bunkering and pipeline vandalism among others in the Niger Delta.

“The operation was initiated to complement the Federal Government’s efforts towards the sustainable development of the Blue Economy in Nigeria.

“After 90 days of the initial inauguration of Op. DELSAN 1 on Jan. 10, Op. DELSAN 2 was relaunched on April 10 to build on the successes recorded in the first phase.’’

Ogalla explained that the second phase was expanded and achieved even greater results in combating oil thieves and illegal bunkering in the region.

“The recovery of stolen crude oil and illicitly refined petroleum products denied criminals financial gains to fund further crimes.

“Due to the successes achieved, Op. DELSAN 3 is extended for another 90 days to sustain the effort and build on the successes of the previous phases.’’

The operation, the navy chief said, utilised non-kinetic approach that led to the seizures of foreign merchant ships trespassing Nigerian waters to steal crude oil.

He said that the operation also fostered significant regional and international collaboration to tackle insecurity in wider Gulf of Guinea.

“Collaborative efforts with the Cameroonian and Gabonese navies resulted in the arrests of MV Jasmine, MT New Angel and MV Blu Shark among other notable accomplishments,” Ogalla said.

Rear Adm. Samson Bura, the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) Central Naval Command, said that the naval forces recovered about 1.053 million litres of stolen crude oil during the preceding operations.

He said that troops also seized 303,051 litres of adulterated diesel and destroyed 122 illegal refineries, 57 wooden boats, 65 metallic storage tanks and 45 dugout pits.

Bura said that no fewer than 22 suspects and six vessels were arrested during the course of the six months operation. (NAN)

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