Navy bursts illegal refinery, destroys 182,000 litres of crude oil in Ondo


By Folorunso Ojo, Akure

The Nigerian Navy Forward Operating Base, FOB, Igbokoda have busted an Illegal refinery with nine locally made ovens through a coordinated surface and air assault with Naval helicopter.

The operation succeeded in destroying over 182,000 liters of Illegal refined products, four boats with 60 kegs of illegal petroleum product at Biokpu/Opouama riverine communities within Awoye general area in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo state.

The Commanding Officer of the Base, Navy Captain Wasuku Alushi disclosed this at the weekend while briefing newsmen at the Base after the exercise, saying “the Operation is in furtherance of the mandate of Operations Delta Sanity; we have destroyed over 182,000 liters of Illegal refined product worth about N97,295, 597 in the market value today.

Alushi stated that on February 9, 2024, the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla launched Operation Delta Sanity with the overall aim of sanitising the Niger Delta environment from the menace of crude oil theft, Illegal bunkering and other related vices.

He further explained that, to give impetus to the Operations in Ondo Area of Operations, the Forward Operating Base, Igbokoda under the direction of the Flag Officer Commanding, Western Naval Command Rear Admiral Mustapha Bala Hassan launched a special Air Operations that has provided aerial intelligence on criminal hideouts and other hot spots in the Area.

“The need to involve the helicopters was informed by an earlier threat assessment of the environment.

“We assessed that we needed an additional layer of protection from the Air as well as the need for precision in order to avoid collateral damage to nearby national assets.

“Although we have not been able to nab any suspect yet, because of the difficult nature of the terrain, most of them must have absconded during the time of survey, but we are working closely with the community leaders and sister security agencies to gather information that would lead to the arrest of the perpetrators.

“We are sending a warning to the criminals that are involving themselves in this illegal refinery that they should desist, because we will go after them, ” Alushi remarked.

The Commanding Officer further noted that ‘Today’s Operations is the outcome of the aerial intelligence we garnered over the past two weeks.’

Captain Alushi thereafter appealed to the criminals to desist from their nefarious activities while appealing to leaders of the communities to cooperate with security agencies to tackle the menace of crude oil theft petroleum products.