The Nigerian Navy on Tuesday said it destroyed more than 50 illegal refineries at Yeye, Burutu and Ibafa creeks in Delta State.
This is just as operatives attached to the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Delta also arrested six ships – MT Aysu, MT Interim, MV Mama Elizabeth, MT Miracle, MV Nipal and SD Waterman and 80 wooden boats used by criminal elements for alleged illegal bunkering of petroleum products siphoned from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) pipelines and crude oil well heads in six months.
Commander of Nigerian Navy Ship, NNS Delta, Commodore Ibrahim Dewu, disclosed this during an educational tour by select journalists to some NN operational bases in the Niger Delta.
The destruction of the illegal refineries were being done with the use of swam buggies, an excavator used in swampy areas to crush metallic substances and render them unusable, thereby avoiding further pollution of the land and surrounding water.
The navy said it identified over 900 illegal refinery camps within NNS Delta’s area of operation with the bulk of it located around Ughelli and Warri South.
Dewu said several persons have been arrested for various maritime offences and handed over to prosecutorial agencies.
Lamenting the delays in prosecuting the cases, he said it was costing the NN so much money to maintain the vessels to avoid their going aground.
Dewu said some of the vessels have been in the jetty for up to seven years, while 185 outboard engines, hoses and other equipment recovered from suspects were littering the base.