The Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Pathfinder has successfully dismantled an illegal oil refining facility situated in the creeks of Degema Local Government Area in Rivers State. The refinery, with an estimated capacity exceeding one million liters, was discovered to be stealing crude oil directly from the wellhead to fuel its operations.
Commanded by Commodore Desmond Igbo, the NNS Pathfinder team revealed that the site, located within NNPC OML-18 and managed by NNPC and Sahara, posed a grave threat to the Nigerian economy through its economic sabotage.
Commodore Igbo highlighted the crucial role of community support in combating this illicit activity. He expressed deep concern over the involvement of local youths in these unlawful practices and urged community leaders to intervene.
“This is NNPC OML-18 being managed by NNPC and Sahara. You can see how these criminals went over there and rigged a hose, that hose is almost 18 inches from the oil well head. They rigged it from there,” he said.
“You can see the crude flowing down to where they have their reservoir and constructed illegal refinery where they cook it. This is economic sabotage to the Nigerian economy.”
“When we come with our gunboats, they ran away,” he said. “But we are still going to trace them and trace those who are sponsoring them.
“They cannot just come here without having big people behind them. We will put down our intelligence and make sure we trace their sponsors.”
Despite no immediate arrests, the Navy remains steadfast in its pursuit of the perpetrators and their sponsors. Commodore Igbo affirmed their commitment to leveraging intelligence efforts to identify and bring to justice those individuals supporting these nefarious operations.
SOURCE: Politics Nigeria