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Published On: Tue, Apr 7th, 2020

Military hits illegal refining site, nabs fishing trawler in Delta

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By Tobias Lengnan Dapam

The Nigerian Military yesterday said the Navy Ship Delta patrol teams conducted anti-Crude Oil Theft (COT)/anti-illegal bunkering operations in its Area of Operation during the week and hit an illegal refining site around Opumami in Warri South LGA of Delta State.

A statement issued yesterday by Brigadier General, Benard Onyeuko, Acting Director,
Defence Media Operations, Defence Headquarters, said the site had 30 ovens, 40 receivers and 16 dugout pits cumulatively laden with about 120,000 litres of product suspected to be stolen crude oil and 40,000 litres of suspected illegally refined Ago.

“Same day, the team discovered another illegal refining site at around Opumami general area. The site had 2 ovens, one receiver, 8 x 250 litres metal drums and one dugout pit cumulatively laden with about 30,000 litres of suspected stolen crude oil and 25,000 litres of product suspected to be illegally refined Ago. No arrest was made during the operations as the miscreants fled on sighting NNS Delta patrol team. Due process is being followed to clear the site.

The statement added that the Nigerian Navy Ship Dorina while on routine patrol arrested a fishing trawler, Hajiya Binta for operating in Nigerian waters without its Automatic Identification System (AIS).

“The arrest was effected at about 5 nautical miles off the ESCRAVOS breakwaters. Upon interrogation, the Captain of the vessel, affirmed that the AIS of the vessel was not operational as at the time of her arrest due to a fault it developed while at sea. Hajiya Binta, was handed over to NIMASA officials on 31 Mar 20 in line with due process.”

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