In a move to combat illegal oil refining activities, troops of the Nigerian Navy, operating under Operation Delta Sanity, have set ablaze three illegal oil refining sites in Rivers and Bayelsa States.
Speaking on the operations, a spokesperson for the Navy stated: “Nigerian Navy Ship SOROH discovered and deactivated one active illegal refining site with two reservoirs, three drums, empty sacks, two ovens with crude oil of about 4,000 litres as well as a small boat with illegally refined product suspected to be illegally refined kerosene at Eduwuini 11, Bayelsa State on February 11, 2024.”
Furthermore, the Navy’s vessel, Pathfinder, uncovered and destroyed two illegal refining sites in Lelema, Rivers State, with cooking pots and ovens.
The spokesperson emphasized, “Nigerian Navy Ship Pathfinder discovered and deactivated two illegal refining sites with cooking pots and ovens at Bokokiri-Lelema of KE Community, Rivers State on Saturday, 10 February 2024.”
In a separate operation, jerry cans containing illegally refined petroleum products were discovered by the navy’s Forward Operating Base, Igbokoda, in Ondo State, at the Mahin riverine area of Ilaje.
The crackdown follows the earlier arrest of a motor tanker, SAISNIL II, allegedly involved in crude oil theft in Lagos State.
Rear Admiral MB Hassan, the Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command, highlighted the vessel’s suspicious activities, stating: “The manipulation of the vessel’s Automatic Identification System around ABO Field for over 48 hours raised concerns about illegalities.”
The Nigerian Navy’s proactive measures underscore their commitment to safeguarding Nigeria’s natural resources and curtailing illicit activities in the maritime domain. With continued vigilance and decisive actions, they aim to maintain security and uphold the rule of law in the region.