Military Immobilises 42 Oven Illegal Refining Sites, Arrest 3 Wooden Boats Laden with Illegally Refined Oil in Delta

By Lazarus Zakaa

The Armed Forces of Nigeria says it’s troops of the Nigerian Navy Ship DELTA has immobilises 42 Oven, 3 illegal refining sites in Delta State.

The military also said, 3 wooden boats laden with illegally refined AGO was also arrested.

The coordinator, Defence Media Operations, DHQ, Major General John Enenche, disclosed this in a statement released on Wednesday  in Abuja.

He said on 7 April 2020, following recent discovery that some illegal refineries that were dismantled on Bennett Island in February 20, had been reactivated.

He also said that the Nigerian Navy Ship DELTA in conjunction with an Ocean Marine Service (OMS) surveillance crew deployed 2 swamp buggies to the Island for anti-illegal bunkering/Crude Oil Theft (COT) operations.

“The team commenced swamp buggy operations at the illegal refining sites and deactivated 24  ovens, 35 receivers, 25 surface metal storage tanks and covered one dug out pit. He added.

According to the Coordinator, DMOs, on 8 of April 2020, the team located another illegal refining site at Bennett Island.

During the operation, he disclosed that 14 ovens, 20 receivers and 21 surface metal storage tanks were dismantled.

Similarly, on the 10 of April. 2020, Major General Enenche said the combined team of NNS DELTA and OMS surveillance crew commenced the swamp buggy operation at Bennett Island in Warri South LGA of Delta State.

The team according to him located an illegal refining site and deactivated 4 ovens, 14 surfacers metal storage tanks and 5 coolers.

He explained Further that the team discovered another  illegal valve connection along the Trans-Forcados pipeline suspected to have been connected by pipeline vandals.

Saying that the valve and associated fittings were disconnected and recovered to the OMS Houseboat at Yeye.

In the same vein, according to the DMOs, Nigerian Navy Ship  PATHFINDER on the 8 of April, 2020, while on patrol located an illegal refining site in Alakiri around Okirika general area of Rivers State.

“The site had approximately 20,000 litres of illegally refined AGO. The site and products were impounded while no arrest was made as the operators of the illegal refining site fled on sighting the patrol team”. He said.

He said similarly,  on the 7 of April 2020,  Forward Operating Base ESCRAVOS team intercepted 2 wooden boats without engines controlled by one fibre boat powered by a 40HP engine along Banga Village Creek, Opuedebubor, Warri South West LGA, Delta State.

“The wooden boats were laden with             about 3,000 litres of product suspected to be illegally refined AGO, packaged in polyethylene bags. Consequently, the boats were towed to a safe place and impounded”

“Same day, the team visited a reactivated Illegal Refining Site (IRS) along Opuedebubor Creek behind Banga Village in Warri South West LGA Delta State”

“The site had 14  refining units, 24  metal storage tanks, 15  metal drums and 12  dugout pits. Cumulatively, the IRS had about 400,000 litres of AGO, 2,201 barrels of crude oil and 25,000 litres of DPK respectively”

“The site was deactivated while the 40HP outboard engine recovered along Banga Village Creek was taken to the Base”. He maintained

Gen. Enenche also disclosed that In another Crude Oil Theft operation on 9 April 2020, a patrol team revisited a previously deactivated IRS along Oviloye Creek, Warri South West LGA and observed that it had been reactivated.

The site according to the DMOs had 2 refining units and 4 metal storage tanks, approximately 5,000litres of illegally refined AGO and 31.4 barrels of stolen crude oil.

During the operations, he said the team intercepted 2 fibre boats laden with about 4,000 litres of illegally refined DPK with 40HP and 60 HP outboard engines.

“The site and petroleum products were impounded and the 40HP and 60HP outboard engines were recovered to the Base”

“Cumulatively, the Forward Operating Base ESCRAVOS patrol teams denied oil thieves dealing of about 408,000 litres of illegally refined AGO, 2,232.4 barrels of stolen crude oil and 29,000 litres of DPK” he added.

He  solicited the Armed Forces of Nigeria continued support for timely and credible information for the enhancement of its operations.

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