Oil Theft: Nigerian Military Deactivates 53 Illegal Refining Sites


The Defence Headquarters says troops of Operation Delta Safe have uncovered and deactivated 53 illegal refining sites, recovered stolen products, and apprehended 19 suspected oil thieves in one week.

The Director, Defence Media Operations, Maj Gen Edward Buba, disclosed this while briefing newsmen on the operations of the Armed Forces of Nigeria across the country on Thursday in Abuja.

Buba said the troops had sustained momentum against crude oil theft in the Niger Delta region.

He said the troops discovered and destroyed 54 dugout pits, 66 boats, 138 storage tanks, 253 cooking ovens, two pumping machines, eight speedboats, 17 hoses, 18 drums, and two cylinders.

READ ALSO: Fire Outbreak At Illegal Refinery Kills Over 35 In Rivers State

According to him, the troops also recovered 983,350 litres of stolen crude oil, 144,980 litres of illegally refined AGO and 71,650 litres of DPK.

“Troops also neutralised one criminal, rescued three hostages, and recovered one fabricated rifle, 18 vehicles, and a torchlight,” he said.


In the Southeast, Buba said the troops of Operation UDO KA conducted a snap operation and arrested suspected IPOB/ESN members in Ikwo and Okigwe local government areas of Ebonyi and Imo states during the week.

The troops neutralised five terrorists, arrested 12 suspected criminals and rescued seven kidnapped hostages, he stated.

READ ALSO: Military Destroys 39 Illegal Refineries, Arrest Oil Thieves

“Troops recovered two locally made guns, four rounds of 7.62 mm Special ammo, one FN rifle barrel, IED materials, 10 water gel explosives, three detonators, and one detonating cord, among others. All recovered items, arrested suspects, and rescued hostages were handed over to the relevant authority for further action,” Buba added.

The defence spokesman said the military had uncovered and neutralised some of the criminals’ havens across various theatres of operation, including national parks, game reserves, and forests.

“The military has identified several of these safe havens and operations are targeted towards ensuring that they are completely dismantled. Recently, one of such hideouts in the Southeast was invaded by troops and they found unspeakable and unprintable activities going on in the invaded camps. It goes to tell us that these extremists are cannibals, feasting on fellow human beings and conducting other forms of dastardly acts,” he said.


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