BY¬† Emma Amaize
WARRI‚Äî SUSPECTED oil thieves fled, abandoning their bunkering equipment, including boats and electricity generators, weekend, as the Nigerian Navy razed 16 illegal crude oil refineries in Burutu and Warri South- West Local Government Areas of Delta State.
The operation was led by the new Commander, Nigerian Navy Ship, NNS Delta, Captain Musa Gemu, who ordered his men to destroy the illegally refined diesel, petrol and kerosene found at the bunkering depots.
Vanguard observed that many of the bunkering sites had been burnt previously by security agents, but the bunkerers usually returned for business after two to three weeks interval.
One of the razed illegal refineries was apparently run by a man and his family members. A mini-hut they built at the illegal refinery where they slept and cooked food with bottles of local gin, cooking utensils and ingredients, axe and foam were destroyed.
Captain Gemu told newsmen at the end of the operation that the raid was in compliance with the zero tolerance for oil bunkering directive by the Chief of Naval Staff, adding: ‚ÄúThis is just the beginning. We will continue to strike and ensure that the waterways are safe for the people to go about their business without fear.‚Äù