Petroleum products valued at several millions of naira were destroyed by men of the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS Delta) Warri in Delta State on Thursday.
The products include 1.5 million liters of stolen crude oil, 203 drums of diesel and seven drums of premium motor spirit (PMS).
The destruction was carried out in about 12 sites of illegal refineries dotting the creeks of Gbekebor community in Burutu Local Government Area of the state.
Men of the anti-crude oil theft task force led by Commander of the NNS Delta, Captain Musa Gemu, stormed the creeks at 10.00a.m, destroying old and new illegal refineries. No arrest was made as the oil thieves fled the scene on sighting the two naval gunboats that ferried the naval men to the creeks.
However, one generating set, one outboard boat engine, two pumping machine and one sawing machine were confiscated from the sites of the illegal business.
Speaking to journalists after the exercise, Gemu said the exercise was a successful one. Gemu, who said the exercise was in compliance with the Chief of Naval Staff’s directive on zero tolerance on illegal oil bunkering, expressed sadness because of the resilience of the oil thieves who keep returning to sites after they had been destroyed.
“This is in compliance with the Chief of Naval Staff directives that there should be zero tolerance on illegal oil bunkering. This is the fifth time we will be coming out to dislodge them since I resumed this year and they keep coming from time to time.
“I feel sad to see the sites of already destroyed refineries being rebuilt. Those sites that were destroyed earlier, we thought it would end there only for us to discover these great sites again. It means we must begin to take further steps to always crosscheck and move more into the creeks to discover more illegal refineries that are springing up daily,” he said