The Defence Headquarters said that the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Delta has immobilised three illegal refining sites and arrested three wooden ships laden with petroleum products in the Niger Delta.
The coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche, said this yesterday in Abuja. Enenche explained that the operation, which took place on April 7, was sequel to recent discovery that some illegal refineries that were dismantled on Bennett Island in February, had been reactivated.
He said that the Navy ship, in conjunction with an Ocean Marine Service (OMS) surveillance crew, deployed two swamp buggies to the island for anti-illegal bunkering/crude oil theft operations. The team, according to him, 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 said: “Additionally, on April 8, the team located another illegal refining site at Bennett Island. During the operation, 14 ovens, 20 receivers and 21 surface metal storage tanks were dismantled.
“Similarly, on April 10, 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 located an illegal refining site and deactivated four ovens, 14 surface metal storage tanks and five coolers.
“Furthermore, the team discovered an illegal valve connection along the Trans-Forcados pipeline suspected to have been connected by pipeline vandals. The valve and associated fittings were disconnected and recovered to the OMS Houseboat at Yeye.”
Enenche also said that the Nigerian Navy ‘Pathfinder’ ship on April 8, while on patrol located an illegal refining site in Alakiri around Okirika general area of Rivers. He said that the site, which had approximately 20,000 litres of illegally refined AGO impounded. He said that no arrest was made as the operators of the illegal refining site fled on sighting the patrol team.
The coordinator further disclosed that the Forward Operating Base ESCRAVOS team also intercepted two wooden boats along Banga village Creek, Opuedebubor in Warri South West LGA, Delta State.