Navy Deactivates 8 Illegal ‘Refineries’ In Ondo

Operatives of the Nigerian Navy, Forward Operating Base, FOB, in Igbokoda have blocked the activities of crude oil thieves and illegal oil bunkering and deactivated eight illegal refining sites at Awoye and Oge-bioku axis in Ilaje local government area of Ondo State.

The exercise was in furtherance of the mandate of Operation Delta Sanity 2 activated to curb criminal activities in the Niger Delta environment, partiicularly, crude oil theft and illegal bunkering.

The Commanding Officer, Nigerian Navy Forward Operating Base, Igbokoda, Navy Captain Wasuku Alushi, disclosed this while speaking with Journalists at the weekend.

Navy Captain Alushi recalled that on January 10 this year, the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Okala flagged off Operation Delta Sanity with the overall objective of sanitising the Niger Delta environment from the menace of crude oil theft, illegal oil bunkering and other illegal activities.

Arising from the successes of Delta Sanity 1, Delta Sanity 2 was flagged off on the April 10, 2024 with a similar mandate.

“What we did this evening is still in furtherance of the mandate of Operation Delta Sanity 2 which is to curb criminal activities which included crude oil theft, illegal oil bunkering and other vices in the Niger Delta environment.

“Today, we were able to storm into their camps which is the illegal refining site. Six were discovered around Awoye and another two around the Oge-Bioku axis. In total, eight of those camps were deactivated today,” Alushi said.

He further disclosed that the modus operandi of the criminal elements has changed slightly from the previous operations.

“As you can see, they are moving deeper into the creeks, making it difficult for us to access those areas because they know that the boats have some constraints. Regardless of that, we also devised our strategy, and that is why we can achieve this element of surprise.

“We have our strategy which is either we get the criminal elements where they are siphoning the crude oil, or we get them at the illegal refining site or when they are trying to transship the finished product.

“As a Base, we remain relentless in our pursuit of the mandate of the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ogala until we free our Area of Operations from these criminal elements who are saboteurs to our commonwealth.

“We will continue to work together with well-meaning partners, traditional rulers and all the good people of Ondo State who have been providing us with credible intelligence”, he assured.

Navy Captain Alushi further assured that the troops will go all out to ensure that they curb this menace of crude oil theft and illegal oil bunkering in their area of operations.

He, however, admonished the criminal elements to desist and have a rethink, saying, “we are going to deploy every available means within our limited resources to ensure that we get at them and ensure that they pay dearly for their crimes.”

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