MSN, 10 October 2022: The pipeline surveillance contract that the Federal Government gave to a company owned by the ex-leader of the defunct Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND), Chief Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, is paying off. In recent times, his company bust two major oil thefts.
The first was his company’s uncovering of the illegal loading port, which is attached to the Trans Escravos pipeline at Yokre Flow Station in the Ogulagha oil field in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State.
The second was the interception of a massive vessel loaded with illegal crude oil in Delta State. Worse still, the culprits tried to bribe Tompolo’s men with N25 million but they turned it down.
About the first operation” Tantita Security Services, last week, stumbled on an illegal four-kilometre crude oil pipeline connected from Forcados terminal to the sea to steal Nigeria’s crude oil. The thieves had been operating that subterranean pipe for the past nine years.
Chief Keston Pondi, Chief Security Office of Tantita Security Services, who conducted the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor and the Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC), Mr. Mele Kyari, around the site, said: “To get to this level is not easy. We were hinted about the two illegal attachments that were foiled. We are still escalating. We are combing this lineup with Ogidigben to Madaho.
“This particular one inspected by the NNPC CEO team is located at Yokre Flow Station. Only God knows how many more points we are going to see as we go further. As of this moment, we have discovered 15 points so far. The identified 15 points were attached to the Trans Escravos pipeline at different locations,” he added.
“It is obvious that a lot of people are complicit in these illegal oil activities. Whether it is in the security sector, host communities, even in the oil industry, if you know that you have been involved and nobody is doing anything about it, this is the time to evacuate,” he said.
On Tompolo’s second operation, his security company, on Thursday, October 7, 2022, intercepted a 1,500 metric tons capacity crude oil tanker, MT Deinmo, with International Maritime Organisation (IMO) number 7210526 with eight crew members at the Escravos River in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta state.
One of the security personnel who was part of the operation told GbaramatuVoice that, they got a tip-off that a ship was loading at the Escravos axis. “The Tantita security personnel went to the place and got the ship arrested.
The Tantita security personnel further added that he was offered a bribe of N25m to let the ship go but he turned down the offer.
The captain of the vessel confessed that they came in from Lagos.