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Nigerian Navy destroys over 134 illegal refineries in Delta

The Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Delta said it has destroyed more than 134 illegal refining sites in Delta state in the last one and a half weeks.

The Commander of the NNS Delta, Commodore Ibrahim Dewu, who disclosed this to journalists during one of the operations in Jibo community, Warri South-West council area of the state on Saturday, also warned oil thieves and operators of illegal refineries to desist and find legitimate means of livelihoods or face the wrath of the law.

Dewu, who was represented by the Executive Officer (XO) of the NNS Delta, Navy Captain Adeyemi Adewuyi, condemned the choice of some people in the Niger Delta to live on crime and continue to waste resources on ventures that will continuously be tracked and pulled down by government, pointing out the amount of financial resources committed to the illegal activities and their rippling effect on the nation’s economy.

According to him, the illegal refining sites in Jibo community alone covered a stretch of more than four kilometers of swamp area, adding that the operators had set up more than 82 units of illegal refineries on the massive space of land.

“First I’ll like to inform you that we are in Jibo community in Warri South-West council area of Delta state to carry out the destruction of illegal refineries with the use of swamp buggies. Currently we are employing two swamp buggies simultaneously to destroy the illegal refinery sites in this community.

“This illegal refining site is stretched about four kilometres, approximately. We have been able to trek the distance, having to wear rain boots because of the fact that it is swampy. Within that stretch, we have destroyed 82 illegal refinery units, including more than 32 dug pits in which they store stolen crude oil.

“Although no arrest has been made, we are still relying on our informants to get some of the operators of the illegal refineries arrested. In the past, we have made several arrests and such culprits had been handed over to prosecuting agencies.

“I will also like to intimate you that we started this operation from the Benin River, where we spent about five days, destroying illegal refineries. Benin River is in Warri North council area of the state and there we destroyed about 52 illegal refining sites, before we moved here and this is our fourth day here. We hope we should be able to round this operation off today.

“My advice to oil thieves and the operators of this illegal refineries is to desist from it and look for legitimate businesses that they can engage in, instead of this economic sabotage that they are engaging in”, Dewu warned.