The Nigerian Navy on Thursday, November 13, 2014 burnt down two illegal refineries in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State with Base Operations Officer of the Nigerian Navy Ship Pathfinder, Port Harcourt, Commander Chido Yahaya disclosing that two Cotonou boats loaded with stolen crude oil were also set ablaze.
Yahaya availed to newsmen that the destroyed refineries were capable of producing N8 million worth of diesel on a daily basis.
In Yahaya’s words: “We went out on patrol yesterday night (Thursday night), and based on intelligence report; the patrol team was able to discover this illegal crude oil refining sites at Opobo creek close to Abonema town.
“There are two active illegal crude oil refining sites (which) as at the time the patrol team arrived early this morning, were still working. On this refinery, you have crude oil and the crude oil is being refined to obtain AGO (diesel) and some quantity of kerosene.
“Based on the sizes of the (refining) tanks, there are about 15, 000 litres of refined AGO that have been produced while the remaining crude oil that they are yet to refine runs into thousands of litres.”
He further explained that the decision to destroy the refineries and boats was taken as no arrests were made at the scene of the crime.
Explaining why the Navy decided to destroy the illegal refineries and the two Cotonou boats, Yahaya stated that the action was taken because no arrest was made at the scene of the crime, warning that the Navy would continue in its efforts to rid the country of illegal and bunkered crude oil.
He said, “People should desist from act of criminality and search for legal means of livelihood because we will continue to go after them and will not relent in our efforts to bring them to justice.”