Similarly, the Nigerian Army has warned oil thieves and vandals to steer clear of Port Harcourt Refinery and its environs, saying it would not hesitate to deal decisively with anyone arrested.
Meanwhile, the Commanding Officer, Eastern Naval Command, Rear Admiral Atiku Abdulkadir, while parading six suspects onboard one of the ships, Purity, around Onne waterways, yesterday, said, the vessel was arrested with about 400,000 litres of illegal crude.
According to him, test conducted on the content of the vessel showed that it was tampered with, thus confirming it was illegally refined.
He said the ship and barges were arrested within one week at different locations on the waterways in the state.
According to him, four of the barges and a vessel were impounded around Onne River, two in Andoni, one barge and a ship on Bonny waterways. He gave some of the names as Atlantic One and Two, and Purity.
Meanwhile, The Nigerian Army in a statement by the 2 Brigade and Sector 2 Operation Pulo Shield, Port Harcourt, said, it was aware of alleged moves by some oil thieves to sabotage its efforts at ridding the refinery area of their illegal operations.
Spokesman of the Brigade, Captain Eli Lazarus, said the Army had evolved a new strategy to smash oil thieves in the area, warning those behind such acts to turn a new leaf or be ready for the Army.
He said the new security measure introduced by the Army had started yielding results, adding that it wwould continue to protect oil facilities in the areas.
“Recently, the Brigade/Sector employed a new strategy for the security of the refinery which led to the elimination of theft of petroleum products. However, the Brigade/Sector is not unaware of the plot by some illegal bunkerers to sabotage the operations of the refinery.
“To this end, all those involved in the plan to disrupt the activities of the refinery are hereby warned that 2 Brigade/Sector 2 is adequately prepared to deal decisively with any person(s) caught in such unpatriotic act,” he said.