Troops on clearance operation in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State have recovered 345,000 litres of illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil (diesel) worth over N77 million. The Defence Headquarters (DHQ), which disclosed this yesterday, said the operations were conducted between September 17 and 23. The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations (DMO), Maj Gen. John Enenche, who made the disclosure at the regular operational briefings in Abuja, said an illegal refining site with a total of 275,000 litres of diesel, was “deactivated” by the patrol team Enenche said the operations were in continuation of efforts to contain economic sabotage in the South South zone. According to the DMO coordinator, ongoing operations across the various theatres are yielding desired results.
He said: “Forward Operations Base Escravos, while on clearance operation, discovered a reactivated illegal refining site at Ugborodo/Banga Creek phase IV Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State. “The site had 16 ovens, 26 storage tanks, 10 gas cylinders and 21 dugout pits. Cumulatively, about 345,000 litres of products suspected to be illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil and 1,572.3 barrels of stolen crude oil were recovered. “Furthermore, the patrol team discovered another reactivated illegal refining site at Jones Creek, Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State.
“The reactivated site had 14 active ovens and 22 storage metal tanks laden with about 660.4 barrels of crude and 275,000 litres of Automotive Gas Oil suspected to be stolen products. The illegal refining site was deactivated during the operation.” Enenche noted that troops of Operation Delta Safe had continued with the aggressive fight against economic sabotage in the zone. He added: “Within the period under review, the Nigerian Navy Ship Pathfinder, on clearance operations, discovered an illegal refining site at Tuma Creek.
“The site had four metal reservoirs and 60 jerricans of 25 litres laden with an estimated 320,000 litres of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) and 1,500 litres of Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK). The illegal refining site was subsequently immobilised. “Within the period, troops of 146 Battalion discovered and destroyed a reactivated illegal refinery containing unspecified quantity of petroleum products at Oputumbi in Bonny Local Government Area of Rivers State.
Also, on the same day, troops of 29 Battalion in conjunction with personnel of Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and Labarador security workers destroyed two illegal refineries at Eleme-Tombia in Degema Local Government Area of Rivers State.”
In another development, Forward Operations Base IBAKA gunboats while on routine patrol around Mbo River on September 21, 2020, intercepted and arrested two small-sized wooden boats laden with 112 drums of products suspected to be Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) with four suspects.
Suspects and items recovered from the arrest are, according to Enenche, currently in custody and will be handed over to relevant agencies. He added: “Additionally, troops of Sector 3 Operation Delta Safe in conjunction with Nigerian Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) raided a criminal hideout around Trailer Park in Eleme Local Government Area of Rivers State. “During the operation, five suspected drug dealers were arrested while several illicit drugs were recovered. Suspects are in custody for further action.”