Task Force Arrests 15 Over Illegal Refineries


The Joint Military Task Force (JTF) in the Niger Delta, says its operatives in Rivers State have arrested 15 persons for operating illegal refineries in different parts of the state.

Lt. Col. Timothy Antigha, the spokesman for the Task Force, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Port Harcourt that Sector 3 Command of the task force arrested the suspects in various operations within the week.

Antigha said that several gallons containing crude oil and fuel refined by the suspects were recovered by the JTF.

He said the suspects were caught operating illegal refineries as well as selling products from such refineries to the public.

“The task force is facing a bigger challenge in checking operators of illegal refineries and people who sabotage pipelines to extract crude oil for such refineries.

“Our personnel have been working hard to get such people because their activities constitute a big threat to the environment, health and economy of the nation,” he said.

Antigha said that cases of damaged car engines, generators and other appliances could be traced to the activities of such refineries.

“As soon as we complete investigation, we will hand the suspects over to the appropriate authorities for prosecution. The JTF does not have the mandate or authority to prosecute.

“We will continue to discharge our duties as specified by the law,” he said.

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