The Nigerian Navy, Warri Naval Command, Delta State, said it destroyed 265 illegal refineries and burnt 100,000 tonnes of locally refined diesels in the last three weeks.
The illegal refineries and the products were destroyed in two separate operations inside the Warri creeks.
The Commander of NNS Delta, Captain Musa Gemu, who assumed duty in February, told newsmen yesterday that his command would not condone illegalities in the creeks.
“We will deal decisively with oil thieves and pipeline vandals in my areas of responsibilities,” Gemu warned.
He recalled that on March 15, he led a team of Naval officers to Oteghele phase one and two forests in Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State.
In the operation that lasted over eight hours inside the forest, a significant landmark was recorded.
Gemu said the Navy destroyed 260 underground refineries and over 100,000 tonnes of diesels.
He added that five suspects were arrested and two boats, two pumping machines and a generating set were recovered.
Similarly, on April 7, the Navy combed the Isaba forest in Ogbe-Ijoh, Warri South-West Local Government Area and in the process destroyed five illegal refineries and 31 drums of locally refined diesel.
A welding machine and a generating plant were recovered, adding that there was a decline in the illegal activities and the operations were yielding results.
Gemu said: “We can see that the rate of illegal oil bunkering is declining in the creeks. We are able to destroy only five refineries and 31 drums of locally refined diesel.”
He vowed that the command would not rest on its oars until the illegality was eradicated.
“It is going to be a routine operation until oil theft is nipped in the bud,” he said.
Gemu warned the perpetrators to desist from illegal bunkering, noting that it was an economic sabotage, adding that anyone caught would face the wrath of the law.
The commander urged host communities in the oil-rich region to support the Navy to eradicate crude oil theft.
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