The Defense Headquarters says 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, John Enenche, disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja.
Mr Enenche, a major-general, explained that the operation which took place on April 7, was sequel to the recent discovery that some illegal refineries that were dismantled on Bennett Island in February, had been reactivated.
He added 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.
“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 4 ovens, 14 surface metal storage tanks and 5 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,” he said.
Mr Enenche also said 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 the site, which had approximately 20,000 litres of illegally refined AGO impounded, adding 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.
He said the boats were loaded with about 3,000 litres of product suspected to be illegally refined AGO, packaged in polyethene bags.
He said 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.
“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 added.
Mr Enenche also disclosed that the patrol team also revisited a previously deactivated IRS along Oviloye Creek, Warri South-West LGA and observed that it had been reactivated.
He said the site had two refining units and four metal storage tanks with approximately 5,000 litres of illegally refined AGO and 31.4 barrels of stolen crude oil.
“Also, during the operations, the team intercepted two 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.