Over 50 Illegal Refining Sites Uncovered by Military in Bayelsa Forest

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In Bayelsa State’s Biseni forest, the military’s Joint Task Force, known as Operation Delta Safe (OPDS), has discovered over 50 illegal refining sites.

Rear Admiral John Okeke, the commander of OPDS, led the operation, which revealed that stolen crude oil was being illegally refined on a daily basis at these sites before the military intervened.

During a briefing with reporters following the operation, Okeke mentioned that one of the illegal refining sites contained a large dugout open pit capable of holding crude oil equivalent to more than 10 trucks of Alternative Gas Oil (AGO). This crude oil was then distributed to their cooking sites.

Okeke had previously warned oil thieves in the area to stop their illegal activities or move elsewhere.


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He said:

On May 9, 2024, we were at Ukwa West LGA, in Abua State bordering Rivers State, a contiguous forest bear a shared along Imo River.

“Today like I said we are not going to relent and is work in progress. We will not get tired, we will continue, we are in Biseni in Yenagoa LGA of Bayelsa. We transverse from Ahoada West LGA, of Rivers to reach this point, the most surprising thing is that this place we are now is housing over 50 cooking sites with unique arrangements.

“Why are the thieves operating in this area decided to be so smart by connecting what is called theft line made of two inches pipe, a galvanized pipe connecting directly to supply oil line on the road, from a distance of one kilometer.

“Then they have a lot of funny connections where they have various arrangement of connection, multiple connection where each of the thief get their supply. From a large dugout open pit that can accommodate more than 10 trucks of AGO, holding crude oil from where they distribute to their cooking site.

“Look at the thick forest, we are now, you can never imagine that such serious crime is going on here, if not for the good spirited individual that volunteer information, we wouldn’t have known,” he said.

This is coming about a month after Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Tajudeen Abbas, lamented that Nigeria loses an estimated at N1.29 trillion annually to oil theft, pipeline vandalism, and other forms of criminality.


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