The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps said its men destroyed four illegal oil refining sites in Cawthome Channel One in Degema Local Government Area of Rivers State.
The corps said suspected oil thieves vandalised facilities including pipes belonging to Sahara Oil, siphoned crude oil and thereafter established an illegal refining site.
The spokesperson for the NSCDC, Rivers State Command, Olufemi Ayodele, disclosed this in a statement issued in Port Harcourt on Monday night.
The statement said the State Commandant “ordered massive destruction of all materials used in carrying out the illegal oil bunkering and over four different refining stations have been destroyed altogether” and noted the suspects took to their heels upon sighting the marine operatives.
It partly read, “With a renewed vigour to combat the menace of illegal oil bunkering activities, vandalism of oil pipelines and illegal dealings in petroleum products, the Marine Unit of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Rivers State Command, has foiled the operations of owners of local refineries in Cawthome Channel One, Degema Local Government Area of Rivers State.
“The NSCDC Commandant General, Dr Ahmed Audu, has zero tolerance for all acts of economic sabotage, hence, he directed the Rivers State Commandant Basil Igwebueze to step up intelligence and protection of all critical national assets and infrastructure both on land and the waterways.
“The success of the Marine Unit hinged on credible intelligence that some suspects were carrying out illegal oil bunkering activities at Cawthome Channel in Damakiri Area. Having vandalised Sahara Oil Well Heads and pipes, they went further to siphon crude oil and establish a local refining site in the area.
“With full determination to combat the menace of illegal oil bunkering activities on the waterways; the Marine Unit swung into action by taking charge of the environment.”