Army destroys largest illegal refineries site in Delta community

Illegal refining activities in the Niger Delta02 May 2013, Warri – The Nigerian Army, Wednesday, destroyed over 50 illegal refineries in the deep mangrove swamp near Otumara community in Warri South-West Council Area of Delta State.

The operation was carried out by officers and men of the 3 Battalion, Nigerian Army, Effurun, Delta State, under the leadership of the Commanding Officer of the Effurun barracks, Lt. Col. Ifeanyi Otu.

The soldiers were accompanied on the two-hour journey on water to the location of the refineries by journalists.

Describing the site as the biggest collection of illegal refineries so far in Delta state, Lt. Col. Otu expressed happiness over the discovery.

According to him, the destruction of the equipment worth millions of naira and the burning of illegally refined products worth billions of naira were a major breakthrough in the war against the activities of oil thieves and illegal refinery operators.

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.

The army also 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’s owners.

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