21 oil thieves arrested as troops destroy 57 illegal refineries

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Troops of Operation Delta Safe have discovered and destroyed 57 illegal refining sites in Bayelsa, Delta, and Rivers in the past three weeks.

This was disclosed by the Defence Headquarters on Thursday.

The Director, Defence Media Operations, Maj. Gen. Musa Danmadami who gave the update, said 21 oil thieves were also arrested within the period.

Danmadami said the troops also destroyed 953 cooking ovens, 68 wooden boats, 172 storage tanks and 149 dugout pits within the period.

He said the troops in the conduct of Operation Octopus Grip also recovered 445,000 litres of crude oil, 1.04 million litres of Automotive Gas Oil, 22,000 litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) and 2,000 litres of Dual Purpose Kerosine.

According to him, eight tankers, 63 vehicles, two speed boats, one tug boat, 14 motorcycles, one tricycle, three bicycles, 11 pumping machines and three outboard engines were captured.

He added that 21 oil thieves and pipeline vandals were also apprehended within the period under review.

“Cumulatively within the weeks in focus, oil thieves were denied a total of N713.6 million in the region. The large quantity of illegal crude oil and other petroleum products recovered and destroyed and the number of arrested oil thieves and pipeline vandals, shows the unrelenting efforts by the troops of Operation Delta Safe in denying them freedom of action,” he said.