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  • Crime
  • Updated: June 23, 2024

Oil theft: NAF airstrikes demolish 13 illegal oil refining sites, seven boats

Oil theft: NAF airstrikes demolish 13 illegal oil refining s

The Nigerian Air Force, NAF, reports that the Air Component of Operation Delta Safe has destroyed 13 illicit refining installations and seven Cotonou boats in Rivers, Bayelsa, and Imo.

This was revealed on Sunday in Abuja by AVM Edward Gabkwet, Director of Public Relations and Information for the NAF.

According to Gabkwet, the air interdictions carried out between June 18 and June 22 dispersed five J-5 buses attempting to syphon suspected crude oil products from surface tanks.

He stated that some of the unlawful facilities were located near the Imo River on June 18, along with seven overhead tanks, which were subsequently demolished while many suspected bunkerers fled.

According to him, air attacks were also expanded to Wilcourt, Rivers, on June 19, when an unlawful site and canoe filled with illegally refined products as well as some gunboats.

According to Gabkwet, the aircrew also demolished some illicit refining plants located around 6 kilometres from Tunu in Bayelsa.

He stated that the air component carried out another big attack on June 22, when the crew detected 5xJ5 buses, most likely modified into small tankers, attempting to syphon illegally processed materials from the Imo River bank.

“Amazed at this change of tactics by these economic saboteurs, the crew did not hesitate to immediately destroy the illegal refining sites feeding the buses.

“The J5 buses were later seen dispersed with some taking cover under trees to avoid detection.

“Air strikes against economic saboteurs and oil thieves have continued to record the expected outcomes.

“This is majorly due to improved intelligence, enhanced air-to-ground coordination, and most importantly, due to NAF’s improved agility and resilience.

“These operations will be sustained until activities of these saboteurs are reduced to the barest minimum,” he said.

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