Posted by:¬†Mike Odiegwu
Sixty one illegal refineries have been destroyed by the Joint Task Force (JTF) in Delta and Bayelsa states.
The Task Force arrested 29 suspected oil thieves after raids conducted by its various sectors in the creeks of the Niger Delta.
The Media Coordinator, Lt- Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, said in Yenagoa yesterday that operatives of the outfit uncovered an illegal crude oil loading point in Rivers State.
He said the illicit point used by oil thieves to siphon products from a pipeline was discovered by the 146 Battalion of JTF‚Äôs Sector 2.
Lt-Col. Nwachukwu said the oil thieves connected hoses to a facility belonging to the Pipeline and Product Marketing Company (PPMC).
‚ÄúAnti-illegal oil Bunkering Squad of 146 Battalion of Sector 2 uncovered an illegal crude oil loading point where oil thieves have tapped into a pipeline belonging to the Pipeline and Product Marketing Company (PPMC) along Greens/Gojiri community near Bonny Island.
‚ÄúTwo hoses siphoning oil into two giant open wooden boats (Cotonou boats) have been recovered and the boats impounded by the operatives,‚Äù he said.
He said 29 of the illegal refineries were discovered and destroyed by troops of 3 Battalion of Sector 1 of the JTF and NNS Delta, a maritime component of JTF.
He noted that 11 open boats, 55 large steel surface tanks, 20 dugout pits, 10 plastic surface tanks filled with stolen crude oil and illegally refined Automated Gas Oil (AGO) were destroyed.
He said the refineries were found in Warri South-West Local Government Area.
Twenty of the illegal refineries were discovered in Olaye Payse near Warri, he said nine of them and seven boats were uncovered in Abudu, Asugbor, Ogbukoko, Obogungun, Escravos , Agedegben communities.
He said: ‚ÄúIn a similar operation in Bayelsa State, troops of 343 Regiment and 5 Battalion of Sector 2 of the JTF patrolling the waterways of Ekeremor and Southern Ijaw local government areas have shut down 32 illegal crude oil distillery camps.
‚ÄúThe sector also scuttled five open wooden boats used by oil thieves in Lagosbene, Sangana, Okigbene, Akamubugo, Forabagbene and Shigogbene communities in the afore mentioned local government areas.
‚ÄúDuring the anti-oil theft operation 29 suspects were arrested for oil theft related offences.‚Äù