In collaboration, Nigerian Army personnel and operatives from the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps have discovered over 12 illegal oil refining sites in Owahwa Creek, located within Delta state’s Ughelli South Local Government Area.
This was disclosed in a statement issued by Director, Army Public Relations, Brig Gen Onyema Nwachukwu, Monday.
According to the statement, the joint operations unveiled 60 crude oil cooking ovens, 14 reservoirs, six wooden boats loaded with stolen crude oil, and 470 sacks containing illegally refined Automotive Gas oil at the camps.
The troops also intercepted stolen crude oil in Udu and Tsekelewu, Warri North Local Government Area, the statement added.
“Troops of the Nigerian Army in synergy with personnel of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps have continued to crack down on saboteurs of Nigeria’s oil sector in Southern Nigeria.
“Troops of 181 Amphibious Battalion conducting anti-oil theft operations on Saturday, 2 September 2023, cracked down on oil thieves’ camps in Owahwa Creek in Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta state.
In the crackdown, the vigilant troops discovered 12 active illegal refining sites, 60 crude oil cooking ovens, 14 reservoirs, 6 wooden boats laden with stolen crude, and 470 sacks of illegally refined AGO concealed in the camps.
“Relatedly, the same troops also intercepted a vehicle conveying 25 polytene bags of suspected illegally refined AGO in Ogbodu Community, in the Udu Local Government Area of Delta State.
“In a similar operation also conducted on 2 September 2023, troops of 3 Battalion, intercepted two wooden boats ladened with stolen crude in Tsekelewu, Warri North Local Government Area of Delta state.”
Arrest of suspects connected with oil theft
Brig. Gen. Onyema also disclosed the arrest of two suspects in Tsekelewu LGA for their involvement in oil theft. He added that both suspects and illegal products were already handed over to NSCDC personnel affiliated with Tantita Security Services for further action.
The statement further reads:
“The troops also arrested two suspects in connection with the crime. Both suspects and the illegal products have been handed over to the NSCDC personnel attached to Tantita Security Services for further action.
“Members of the public are implored to report any suspected act of sabotage or criminality to security agencies to enhance ongoing operations to curb economic sabotage in the country.”