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Navy destroys 4 illegal refineries, sets ablaze boats loaded with stolen crude oil

The Nigerian Navy has destroyed four illegal refineries including a wooden-laden boat conveying about 2000 litres of product suspected to be stolen crude oil in…

The Nigerian Navy has destroyed four illegal refineries including a wooden-laden boat conveying about 2000 litres of product suspected to be stolen crude oil in Awoye community in the Ilaje LGA of Ondo State.

The naval authorities, Forward Operating Base (FOB), in the Igbokoda Area of the state, said the operation was in continuation of its fight against crude oil theft, oil bunkering and kidnapping in the coastal region in the state.

Wasuku Alushi, Commanding Officer, of FOB Igbokoda, made this known in a statement to journalists in Akure on Wednesday.

Alushi said the naval operatives achieved the feat in the course of its operation after it got aerial intelligence of the illegal refinery sites.

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He explained that the illegal oil refinery worth N20 million was discovered in a very difficult terrain with a network of criminal elements.

“Here at the illegal refineries, they have numerous equipment, they have boats which they use in conveying the crude oil and as you can see, the crude oil is still very fresh, it can contain about 2,000 litres as we deactivate them all.

“It is a whole network of criminal enterprise, as you can see, there are stolen crude, this engineering method was carefully carried out by these criminal elements,” Aluchi stated.

According to him; the strategy by the naval operatives in clamping down on the oil theft was in three folds.

“The first is to arrest the criminal elements at the point of stealing the crude, if we cannot get them there then we can get their illegal refinery sites. Good enough, we caught them at the point of refining.

“We have deactivated those illegal refineries, the next step is to crush the relics, which would discourage them even when they have the thought of reactivating those refineries, we would follow up with information and destroy them all.”

He added, “Also, Our traditional rulers have been forthcoming, they have been trying in the area of giving us intelligence, we would like them to help us in the area of community agreement, they must continually sensitize their wards on the menace of crude oil theft, not to the economy alone but the effects to the environment.”

Aluchi indicated that the operation was also geared towards the dictate of the Chief of Naval Staff, Emmanuel Ogalla, who had directed that criminal elements in the oil bunkering business be stamped out in the riverine areas.

 

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