Navy Uncovers Illegal Refining Site Inside Port Harcourt City

Navy

Operatives of the Nigerian Navy, on Tuesday, uncovered an illegal oil refining site located at Abonnema Wharf, within Port Harcourt metropolis in Rivers State.

The security operatives also discovered and confiscated about 750,000 litres of illegally refined Automated Gas Oil (AGO) popularly known as diesel during the raid.

Addressing journalists after the raid, the Commander of Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Pathfinder, Commodore Desmond Igbo, said the exercise was carried out following a tip-off.

Igbo stated that the raid was in continuation of the mandate of the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla, to end illegal oil bunkering activities and crude oil theft in the Niger Delta region and other parts of the nation.

The NNS Pathfinder Commander, who described illegal oil bunkering and crude oil theft as an act of sabotaging the nation’s economy, said he and his team were fully determined to end the menace in their area of operations.

He said: “This is another illegal oil bunkering site in Port Harcourt. As you can see, we have lots of drums fully loaded with this illegally refined products.

We also have some loaded in the bags too. Here, we have not less than Seven hundred and fifty thousand (750,000) litres of AGO stolen by criminals stocked here.

“Last time, we were at the creeks, but these oil thieves have devised a new means to even come to the town. This is Abonema Wharf, a community right inside the city of Port Harcourt, the state capital.”

Igbo stated that the illegal refining site poses a great danger to residents and those doing business in the area.

The NNS Pathfinder Commander added: “Apart from being saboteurs of the nation’s economy by stealing these oil, it is also an act of environmental degradation.

“They also constitute danger to the citizens and properties of people around here because, if there is any form of fire outbreak, it will burn down the entire community. We will not allow this to continue.

“The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ikechukwu Ogala has given us this mandate to go to the creeks, the water and the land to make sure that crude oil theft in Niger Delta is put to an end.

“We will not relent and we won’t be deterred even with all form of sabotage and blackmails, we will continue to do the right thing both day and night to ensure this act of economic sabotage stops.”

He advised all those involved in the act of sabotaging the nation’s economy to refrain and engage in legal business to earn a living.

Igbo said: “I have always advised them. They must refrain from this act of economic sabotage, it is not good for our country and our economy, as well the environment. So we advice them to look for other legal means of survival.”

He, however, noted that the confiscated products would be handed over to the appropriate authorities for necessary action.

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