About 4.2 million litres of crude oil allegedly stolen in the Niger Delta region have been recovered by the Joint Task Force (JTF).
According to one of the JTF team leaders, Captain Sunday Olaleye, the discovery was made in two vessels which were arrested by Operation Pulo Shield, an anti-illegal bunkering and oil theft outfit of the JTF.
One of the vessels was arrested in Okrika Local Government Area of Rivers State while the other was arrested in Forcados, Warri waterways, in Delta State.
He said the team discovered that of the 10 compartments in the vessel arrested in Forcados, nine were filled with crude oil.
Captain Olaleye told newsmen that one compartment contained 330,000 litres of crude oil, adding that this can fill a truck.
He said the arrest was made possible through a tip-off, adding that the two ships attempted to escape but for the quick response from his officers.
He said: “When you multiply 330,000 litres of crude oil by nine compartments, you have 2,970 million litres. That is for the ship that was intercepted around Forcados. Besides, the ship seized in Okrika region has four compartments filled with crude oil. When you multiply 330,000 litres of crude oil by four, you have 1.32 millon litres. Altogether, over 4.2 million litres of stolen crude oil was recovered in two separate operations carried out by JTF.
“Immediately we were informed that the ships were planning to escape, we swung into action. We arrested the ships. When we moved closer to the ship that was arrested around Forcados area, the sailors and other crude members escaped through a boat they snatched on the river.”