The destruction of the refineries, located along the Escravos line in Warri South West Local Government Area of state, is part of efforts by the group to arrest crude oil theft and vandalism of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, pipelines.
Leader of the task force, Mr. Frank Gbenekama, told journalists that the illegal refineries were discovered during routine patrol of the Escravos waterways, following a tip-off on activities of pipeline vandals in the area.
He said: “Based on the information made available to us, we decided to embark on a patrol of the Escravos line and in one of the location, we sighted some men on board a boat attempting to mount a valve on a trunk-line conveying crude oil.
“On approaching the vandals, they took to their heels through the bush, leaving behind their boat and other equipment used for the illegal operations.”
“It was in the process of tracing the pipes laid through the bush path that we discovered those illegal refineries and we set these refineries ablaze alongside the boat and the equipment used by these vandals in perpetrating their nefarious activities.”
Gbenekama assured that those behind the acts of sabotage, especially along the Delta Coastal areas are in for a tough time.
He called for the cooperation of indigenes of communities along the Delta Waterways in arresting the menace of illegal bunkering and pipeline vandalism as he stressed the need for useful information that could help security agents in identifying the possible hideout of these criminals.