BY EMMA ARUBI
WARRI ‚Äî OFFICERS and men of the 3 Battalion, Nigerian Army, Effurun, Delta State, yesterday, destroyed over 50 illegal refineries located at the deep mangrove swamp forest in the outskirts of Otumara community in Warri South-West Council Area of Delta State.
Led by the Commanding Officer of the Effurun barracks near Warri, Lt. Col. Ifeanyi Otu, the team undertook the two-hour journey on water accompanied by newsmen.
Commander Otu who described the site as the biggest conglomerates of illegal refineries so far discovered in the state said the destruction of the equipment worth millions of naira and the burning of illegally refined products worth billions of naira were a major break through in the fight against the illicit trade and economic sabotage.
The illegal refineries with a complex network of connecting hoses leading to different local export terminals were located inside a very narrow windy creek stretching several kilometres from the refining spot.
Meantime, the army has apprehended two men apparently dealing in locally refined crude on their way to delivering 10 drums of diesel to some dealers.
The men, Zion Takeme, 26 and Alex Ebie, 22,¬† however claimed that they knew nothing about the product, that they only running an errand. They refused to name the product‚Äôs owners.