By Mustapha Usman
Troops of the joint operation DELTA SAFE have intensified operations against crude oil theft, destroying 80 illegal refineries across Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers States recently.
A statement by the spokesman of the operation, Abubakar Abdullahi, said in Bayelsa state, troops on patrol around Obhoyohan and Ngiri Creeks in Nembe Local Government Area discovered and destroyed seven illegal refineries containing 150,000 litres of suspected stolen crude oil.
“3 suspects were also arrested in connection with the illegalities, and are currently undergoing investigation,” Mr Abdullahi, a major, said.
“In Delta State, troops patrol around Sara Abileye Swamp in Warri South West Local Government Area discovered a network of 6 illegal refineries made up of 4 storage tanks, 2 dug out pits filled with products suspected to be stolen crude oil.
“Additionally, another patrol at the axis Ajoloso Creek in Elume community destroyed a camp housing 8 illegal refineries.
“Similarly, troops destroyed 9 illegal refineries comprising 4 ground pits and 3 metal tanks filled with product suspected to be stolen crude oil at Katu near Camp 5 in Warri South West. This is in addition to 7 illegal refineries earlier destroyed around Opunami Creek.
“Another patrol conducted around Udu, Ughelli South Local Government discovered 8 illegal refineries depot at Udu trailer park and destroyed 1200 drums laden with 140 metric tonnes of illegally refined Diesel.
“In Rivers State, troops destroyed other 10 illegal refineries around Bolo in Bonny Local Government. This is in addition to 25 others earlier raided at Creek 6 and Ijokiri in same Local Government Area.
“Let me appeal to all law abiding citizen to continue to support Operation DELTA SAFE operational activities with valuable information. All hands must be on deck to frustrate the activities of economic saboteurs. Let me also advise the sponsors and operators of illegal refineries to desist from the economic sabotage which begets environmental pollution and other social problems. Our troops would not relent until our mandate is achieved.”