JTF uncovers 14 massive illegal refining sites in Rivers

An illegal refining site in Ibaa Community in Rivers State

File photo: An illegal refining site in Ibaa, Community in Rivers State

By Shedrack Frank

Operatives of the Joint Task Force, Operation Delta Safe (OPDS) have uncovered 14 massive sites illegally refining crude oil on Ataba Island, close to Bonny Island in Rivers State.

Rear Adm. John Okeke, the Commander of the OPDS announced the discovery of the illegal site.

The OPDS Commander who visited the location of the illegal refinery said it was uncovered based on intelligence information.

“Today we are in Ataba Island, close to Bonny Island, Rivers State, moving towards Akwa Ibom.

“What we discovered here is shocking, about 14 massive cooking sites, one of them is still hot and they must have pulled out on the arrival of the troops.”

According to him, the OPDS would sustain surveillance and take out economic saboteurs in the region.

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Okeke who assumed duty on Thursday, said that the illegal refining site would be destroyed.

He said though no arrest has been made, the joint operation will not allow the Niger Delta to be a safe haven for criminals.

“We are going to make it very hot for them with the help of the Navy, Army, Air Force, Police, NSCDS, the DIA, amongst others.

“Nobody wins alone without collaboration, with team work, we are going to achieve a lot in the fight against illegal bunkering and pipeline vandalism.

“We are sustaining what my predecessor did and I want to thank God that within 24 hours we are able to achieve this feat, it shows that we are performing our duty.”

He advised criminals operating in the area to go into legitimate businesses, warning that those engaged in pipeline vandalism and illegal bunkering will never find peace. (NAN)

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