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Just In: Joint Forces Accost Oil Theft Syndicate, Raze Boats With Illicit Products

NOSDRA
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The Joint Special Forces have accosted a syndicate siphoning crude oil from Chevron/NNPC rigs on the high sea in Ondo state, Southwest Nigeria.

Leader of the Galaxy Security Services, Bibopere Ajube in Ilaje Local Council Area of the state led the special military forces, discovered the evacuation points of the bunkering syndicate.

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“Two monster boats used for the illicit operations by the syndicate were located at different points where they were hidden within suspended residential raft houses at Awoye island community,” Mr Ajube said in Akure on Tuesday.

Nigeria is losing around 600,000 barrels of crude oil daily due to the activities of vandals and oil thieves.

Mele Kyari, the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Ltd (NNPC) stated this last October after an illegal oil pipeline connecting directly to the high sea from the oil-rich Niger Delta region was recently discovered.

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Mr Kyari explained that the company uncovered the illegal oil connection from Forcados Terminal which operated for nine years.

“Oil theft in the country has been going on for over 22 years but the dimension and rate it assumed in recent times is unprecedented. The combined effect is that you have lost 600,000 barrels per day when you do a reality test.

“As a result of oil theft, Nigeria loses about 600,000 barrels per day, which is not healthy for the nation’s economy, and in particular, the legal operators in the field, which had led to a close down of some of their operational facilities,” he said.

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Speaking further, Mr Ajube said they were able to track down the rigs from which the syndicate illegally siphoned the crude oil on the Atlantic Ocean through intelligence gathering.

He revealed that the rigs; CNL/NNPC JKT 1, CNL/NNPC JKT 2, CNL/NNPC JKT 9, and CNL/NNPC JKT 12, were discovered after its metal stands were soaked with crude oil spilled from the hose used by the syndicate.

“The team towed the two monster boats from Awoye community to a safe location within Ilaje LGA and set them ablaze with the products therein,” Mr Ajube added.

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While lamenting the activities of the oil bunkering syndicate, he noted that the act had undermined the economy of the nation.

According to him, the joint special forces are making efforts to stop oil bunkering in the state and the Niger Delta as a whole.

Mr Ajube explained that tracking the saboteurs has been very tedious, stressing that it also requires funds, especially in terms of fueling the boats and staying on water for several hours to check their illegal activities.

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“Here in Ondo State, we talk to our youths not to engage in illegal businesses, we encourage them to exert their energy in businesses that would earn them a living without security agents chasing them around.

“It is unfortunate that people engage in bunkering, a development which has drastically reduced the country’s earnings and had forced the government to go into borrowing,” he said.

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Crime

Police arrest two with fake new Naira Notes

Police
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Police Operatives serving in Igbo-Eze South Division of Enugu State Command, on Thursday, February 2, have arrested one Joseph Chinenye aged 39 and Onyeka Kenneth Ezeja aged 29, both male and respectively of Iheakpu-Awka in Igbo-Eze South LGA and Onicha Enugu-Ezike in Igbo-Eze North LGA, for allegedly being in possession of suspected counterfeited one hundred and eighty (180) pieces of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN’s) newly redesigned one thousand naira (N1,000) notes, with face value of one hundred and eighty thousand naira (N180,000.00).

The Naira swap introduced by the Federal Government through the Central Bank has continued to bring out different colours from Nigerians.

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From students beating soldiers in UniBen, to people fighting at ATM points. From people fighting in banking halls to Ibadan people protesting at Iwo Road.

A statement released by the spokesperson of the state police command, DSP Daniel Ndukwe, says preliminary investigation shows, among other things, that the notes, which are in three separate batches, bear the same serial numbers of A/34:282656, A/46:578759 and 8/93:852942; while the suspects claimed to have secured the counterfeited Naira notes from an unidentified woman in Benin, Edo State.

“They confessed to attempting to sell the notes to a POS operator, who rejected them, before the Operatives arrested them at a Filling Station in Ibagwa-Aka community of Igbo-Eze LGA, where they used the notes to purchase petrol. The duo will be arraigned in court upon consolidation and conclusion of investigation into the case by the State CID Enugu.” Ndukwe said

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He added that the state Commissioner of Police, CP Ahmed Ammani, has reassured the commitment of the Police to fish out and bring to book, criminal elements hellbent on perpetrating such acts of economic sabotage. He advised the masses to be vigilant when carrying out transactions with Naira notes, especially the new ones.

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Crime

Suspected herders kill six in Benue, injure soldiers

community, herdsmen kill two
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Suspected armed herders at the weekend launched another attack on some communities in Benue State killing six people and injuring three soldiers.

The incident, according to locals, occurred at a border between the Tse-Abwa Mbapa council Ward in Gwer West and Ikobi in the Apa Local Government areas of the state.

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The attack on Ikobi community was said to have started since last Thursday and ended on Saturday.

A source said, “On February 2, herdsmen gave a man called Usman Ochowechi a machete cut on his farm close to his village of Oloke in Ikobi and they passed message through him that they would be coming.

“They carried out their threat. They attacked and killed two persons. One person, Miss Eba Usman, is still missing.

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That was February 3 in Ikobi Ochekwu, Apa LGA, Benue. They came back on Saturday, February 4 and killed four persons in the same Ikobi.”

It was further gathered that following the attack, troops of Operation Whirl Stroke were deployed to the area to prevent further attacks.

Members of the community said the troops repelled the invaders.

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“The OPWS troops were however ambushed by the killer herders in Mbappa, Gwer West Local Government Area of the state. The troops succeeded in overpowering the attackers and three soldiers sustained injuries,” the source added.

Confirming the attack, a member of the state House of Assembly representing Apa State Constituency, Abu Umoru, said, in the last six days, six people have been killed.”

When contacted, the state police command’s spokesperson, Catherine Anene, said she was not aware of the attack and advised our correspondent to talk to the military.

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Meanwhile, the Public Relations Officer of Operation Whirl Stroke, Flight Lt. Audu Katty, who confirmed that three soldiers sustained injuries, was silent on the casualties from the communities.

In a statement sent to our correspondent, the OPWS spokesman said, “We received information about an attack on Ikobi community on the February, 4, 2023 at about 5pm and responded immediately.

“The gallant troops moved to the area and cleared the community. The rampaging armed herders fled towards Nasarawa State on sighting the troops. The situation though dicey has been stabilised.

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“The operation continued the next day February, 5, 2023 in adjoining communities. While the troops were moving towards Agagbe, they had contact with some bandits.

The bandits fired at the troops and our troops engaged them with superior fire power that lasted for about 30 minutes.

Three of our troops sustained various degrees of injuries. The injured troops are currently receiving treatment.”

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Crime

Three die as gunmen invade Plateau village

Plateau , Gunmen
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Three persons were on Monday confirmed dead after gunmen attacked Maiyanga community in Bokkos Local Government Area of Plateau State.

One of the deceased was identified as Maham Maram, a retired police officer.

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It was gathered that two other persons sustained injuries during the attack which occurred on Sunday night.

A resident of the community, Bulus Sule, who confirmed the attack to PUNCH Metro in Jos, the state capital, on Monday, said those injured had been evacuated to the hospital where they are currently receiving treatment.

Sule said, “It was last (Sunday) night that the gunmen came and attacked the people in Maiyanga community.

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“They shot three persons dead while two persons sustained ais in pains.”

Another resident of the community, who identified himself simply as Ilya for security reasons, condemned the attack.

Ilya said the incident had been reported to security agents who he said arrived the community some hours after the gunmen had fled the scene.

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He called on the government to beef up security in the community to forestall further attack.

Spokesman for the state police command, Alabo Alfred, who also confirmed the death of the three victims, however said efforts were ongoing to arrest the perpetrators.

Alfred said, “There was an attack on the village last night and from the report I received, three people were killed while two others were injured and are responding to treatment.

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“Our men have been sent to the village with assistance from soldiers and they are combing everywhere in the bush searching for those who carried out the attack.

“We will make sure that we get the people responsible for the killing. All we want from the public is timely information so that we can take action immediately in this kind of situation.”

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