Troops destroy 1,423 illegal refineries, arrest 13 ships, 567 suspects 

Military destroys illegal refineries, recovers stolen crude 

 

The Defence Headquarters on Thursday said troops of Operation Delta Safe demobilised about 1,423 illegal oil refining sites between January and December. 

Also, about 40 million litres of crude oil and 67 million litres of illegally refined products were recovered during these periods.

Director, Defence Media Operations, Major General Bernard Onyeuko said 13 ships laden with crude oil and a total of 567 suspects were arrested in the various operations conducted in the Niger Delta region.

He said some of the arrested suspects have been convicted, while others are still undergoing trials in various courts of law, vowing that troops would sustain to reduce oil theft and other crimes in the region.

“The anti-crude oil theft efforts … during the period in consideration has led to the demobilisation of about 1,423 illegal oil refining sites (each of which contains many camps), over 4,929 storage facilities and 536 large wooden boats, popularly called ‘Cotonou boats’ among others.

“Also, 13 ships laden with crude oil cargo, 9 barges, 137 trucks and other types of vehicles conveying illegally refined products were arrested. Additionally, about 40 million litres of crude oil and 67 million litres of illegally refined products mostly AGO were recovered from the criminals. In the process of conducting these operations, 567 suspects were arrested in connection with various crimes.

“The suspects and exhibits have all been handed over to the appropriate prosecuting agencies for prosecution. While some of the arrested suspects have been convicted, others are still undergoing trials in various courts of law. Nonetheless, the JTF will sustain its anti-COT efforts until the crime is totally eliminated or reduced to the barest minimum,” he said.

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