Navy Uncovers 14 Illegal Crude Oil Processing Sites In Rivers Community

Navy Uncovers 14 Illegal Crude Oil Processing Sites In Rivers Community

The Nigerian Navy has uncovered 14 crude oil processing sites in Ataba Creeks in Andoni Local Government Area, where oil thieves use as a processing point for stolen crude oil that is transformed into various petroleum products.

Also found at the sites within a 500-meter radius at Ataba Creek, were plastic drums, and canoes, among other equipment that were abandoned by the oil thieves when the quick response force comprising the components from JTF, stormed the area.

The JTF operatives got wind of the location after being tipped- off by officials of Pipeline Infrastructure Nigeria Ltd PINL, the Surveillance contractor covering the area.

The Operation Delta Safe OPDS, Commander, Real Admiral, John Okeke who led the team of officers told journalists that the task force team kept vigil in the area for three days, but noted that no arrest was made.

He added that the area was discovered based on the information provided by the “intelligence cell, which of course comprises, Nigerian Army, Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Air Force, other components like the police, DIA, Civil Defence and of course, our big collaborator in the name of Pipeline Infrastructure Nigeria Ltd, PINL”.

Rear Admiral Okeke said that with the operation the country could sustain its oil production output, noting that the evidence at the sites shows that the oil thieves had been operating for quite some time but that the weekly overflight surveillance by Shell could not detect the sites because of the remoteness of the area and the thick vegetation.

He added: “What we discovered was shocking, a whopping number of 14 cooking sites. On arrival of our quick response force, we met one still very hot, which suggests that they just pulled out on their arrival.

“The task force quick response team has been on ground for 3 days keeping vigil here. And I want to commend them and the quick response team comprises the components from JTF, so it’s not a one-man show”.

He also said that the operation has aided in the removal of “a major illegal refining site, which of course has reduced the quantity (crude oil) that would have been pilfered from our pipeline and what it portends for the task force is that we are sustaining what my predecessor did and I want to thank God Almighty for at least not up to 24-hours and we are able to achieve this feat.

“If not for the intelligence provided through the stakeholders and the naval intelligence and force cell we wouldn’t have discovered this place because the vegetation is thick. It’s an island beside Bonny Island. When you transit through the main channel you will not notice that there is something here”.

Okeke added: “I want to say again, the criminals that are here, I think it’s better they, those hibernating here can relocate for now or I will advise that they can decide to do legit.

“When you do legitimate business you don’t have any business coming to the bush. And the Nigerian Navy will continue to support your business. But in so far that you continue to hide inside the bush, tearing our pipelines we will not allow you to see peace”

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