Defence/Security

Crude oil theft: Military nabs one, destroys illegal refineries

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The Defence Headquarters said that military operations have deactivated some illegal refining sites and arrested a speed boat and a wooden ship laden with petroleum products in the Niger Delta area.

The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. John Enenche, who said this at the updates briefing on military operations across the country on Thursday in Abuja, said the troops also recovered three pumping machines.

According to Eneche, the troops of Operation DELTA SAFE have intensified the fight against crude oil theft, pipeline vandalism and illegal oil bunkering in the zone with significant success.

He said that within the Nigerian Navy Ship PATHFINDER patrol team discovered an illegal Refining Site at Yellow Platform off Onne, Rivers State.

“The site had two metal reservoirs laden with an estimated 314.49 barrels of crude oil and 90,000 litres of illegally refined AGO. Accordingly, the site was deactivated.

“Similarly, Nigerian Navy Ship DELTA patrol team located an Illegal Refining Site along Lokpobiri in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State.

“The site had 23 ovens, 15 surface metal storage tanks and nine dug out pits cumulatively laden with about 195,000 litres of products suspected to be illegally refined AGO,” he said.

He said that a speed boat laden with four sacks containing an unspecified quantity of illegally refined AGO and three pumping machines, were found at the site.

“Accordingly, the site was deactivated while the speed boat with its content was recovered to the Base.

“The Armed Forces of Nigeria will sustain the onslaught against economic sabotage. The general public is hereby enjoined to continue to provide timely and credible information to the troops,” he said.

He said that in the South West zone, Troops of Operation AWATSE impounded a wooden boat with a sack containing 45 jerrycans of 25 litres, one 2.2 inches capacity hose of about 300 metres in length at Ibeshe area.

He said that the items were evacuated to ATLAS COVE camp.

“Troops also arrested a suspect in possession of some jerrycans of product suspected to be PMS and at Abule glass. The suspect was handed over to Nigerian Navy Ship BEECROFT patrol team.

“He is currently in custody at the Base while arrangements are ongoing to hand him over to the appropriate prosecuting agency.

“Troops have continued to dominate the general area with clearance and aggressive patrols, while maintaining surveillance to rid the area of pipeline vandals and other economic saboteurs,” he said.

Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni/Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)

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