Navy launches operation to combat maritime crime

The Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Adm. Ibok-Ete Ibas, has launched “Operation Tsare Teku IV” in furtherance of the Navy’s determination to rid the waterways of criminal activities.

The exercise which was launched in Warri, Delta State, is one of the series of anti-piracy operations of the Nigerian Navy dedicated to fighting criminal activities in the country’s maritime domain.

The naval chief was represented by Rear Adm. Adeniyi Osinowo, Chief of Training and Operation, Naval Headquarters, Abuja.

Ibas said that the damaging effect of the activities of illegal refiners was of great concern to the Navy, hence the series of operations.

“The operation is dedicated to rid criminal activities on our waterways, particularly against pirates and sea robbers and those who intend to impact negatively on the nation’s oil and gas infrastructure.

“What is really of concern to the Navy is that the agitation of some of the militant groups has been in one way or the other detrimental to the image of the nation.”

The naval chief said that the operations had so far yielded good results.

“What really is of concern to the Nigerian Navy now is the damaging effect of the activities of illegal refiners causing pollution on the environment.

“Converting crude oil into other products and by-products has continued to significantly degrade our environment.”

Ibas appealed to the media and other relevant groups in the society to sensitise the communities in the Niger Delta on the environmental and health implications of pipelines vandalism.

Also, Rear Adm. Mohammed Garba, the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) Central Naval Command, said the operation was aimed at safeguarding the maritime domain.

“Statistics at our disposal shows that there is reduction in occurrences of piracy, sea robbery and other forms of crime in the waterways.

“To those who are bent on perpetrating maritime crime, it is no longer business as usual.”

Earlier, Garba said that the command’s `Operation River Sweep’ phases one and two had yielded great results with the destruction of over 70 illegal refineries in Delta and Bayelsa.

He also said that the command destroyed thousands of tonnes of illegally stolen crude oil and recovered many boats.

The Navy had in late 2016 launched `Operation Eagle Eyes’ and later `Operation River Sweep’ in Warri which is still ongoing.