Seven illegal refineries have been destroyed by the Nigerian Navy Ship, in Oteghele community, Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta state, Commodore Aliyu Sule, said to journalists.
Over 500 metric tonnes of crude oil were burnt in the operation that lasted about five hours, commander Sule who assumed command of the Base in April said, pointing out an incredible feat.
The commander urged those engaged in the illicit business to desist from it or face the full wrath of the law.
“This operation is in continuation with the Chief of Naval Staff zero tolerance on illegalities including crude oil theft in the creeks.
“This is just to send signal to the perpetrators that there will be no vacuum between my tenure and my predecessor’s.
“We got intelligence report that there were illegal refineries in the area and we sent officers to conduct research before carrying out the operation.
“People say unemployment is responsible for the illegal oil bunkering, but I think lack of job should not motivate them to engage in such illegalities,” he said.
Sule said the perpetrators were becoming more sophisticated in terms of method and materials they were using, adding that the navy was capable of countering their antics.
“The mode of the illegal oil bunkering is becoming sophisticated and we have to change our strategies to counter it.
“The distance of the hose they use is about three kilometers from the various illegal refineries; you can imagine where they are going to,” he said.
Sule vowed that the command would not relent in its efforts at sanitising the waterways under his watch from all forms of illegalities; however, urging all those involved in the illegal business to have a rethink and engage in lawful ventures rather than sabotaging the nation’s economy.
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