Navy moves to tackle crimes in N’Delta waterways
As parts of efforts to tackle the worsening sea piracy, oil theft and other economic crimes in the Niger Delta waterways, the Nigerian Navy Central Naval Command has vowed to intensify its operations to tackle them headlong.
Speaking shortly after the end of its three-day operations, code-named ‘Exercise Projector’, Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Rear Admiral Apochi Suleiman, said the Navy was capable of policing the creeks in the region and smoke out criminals.
He said: “There shall be no hide-outs for these miscreants anymore in short time in our operational domains. Nigeria has over the years been confronted with challenges of curbing illegal oil bunkering, pipeline vandalism in Niger Delta communities.”
Suleiman said the mandate of the command in the operation was to conduct a riverine surveillance within its areas of operations, including creeks and criminals’ hide-outs.
The exercise, he said, was to suppress the activities of the criminals because their actions had led to the dwindling of the country’s economy and negative impact on individuals and property.
The FOC said the operation was also aimed at reducing criminal activities in the country and to increase its revenue base.
He said: “The zero tolerance for illegalities of the Navy over the years has yielded positive results among the oil companies operating in the Niger Delta.
“Through this operation, we have also embarked on regular patrol of waterways in our operational areas to lock up the entire maritime space to reduce criminalities in the creeks.
“The command has acquired 15 gun-boats to enforce the operations in the Niger Delta communities. We are, therefore, warning criminals to steer clear of the Navy’s operation areas in their own interest, as we will deal ruthlessly with any hoodlum caught sabotaging the country’s resources.
“We are going to enforce the patrol of Niger Delta creeks, blocking the entire maritime space to reduce criminal activities and smoke out the hoodlums from their hideouts.
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