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Navy destroys 70 illegal refineries, arrests 38 suspects, seizes tankers

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One of the refineries destroyed by the Nigerian Navy

•NLNG decides on acquisition of $7b train in October
•DPR, NSCDC arrest unauthorised cooking gas retailers in Abuja

The Nigerian Navy yesterday said it had destroyed 70 illegal refining sites within NNS Pathfinder areas of operations and arrested 38 suspected oil thieves in six months.

The force revealed that it also uncovered several storage tanks and dug out pits laden with over 4300MT of stolen crude and 2191MT of illegally refined AGO at the affected refineries.

The Base Operating Officer, Nigerian Navy Ship NNS Pathfinder, Commander Murtala Aminu Rogo, made the revelation during a media tour of the areas by defence correspondents.

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He said 21 fibre boats, three trucks/tankers, 18 outboard engines, 16 generators, 12 welding machines and 36 pumping machines were equally seized during the period.

In addition, the naval base confiscated 10 gunboats, 18 private maritime logistics support vessels, 18 barges and 42 wooden boats from criminals.

Noting that four of the formation’s six Modant Marine gunboats were currently operational, Rogo added that their community-based intelligence network strategy for timely intelligence gathering and dissemination was adopted to tackle maritime security.

Besides, the final investment decision (FID) on the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Train 7, which is to cost between $6 and $7 billion, is to be taken in October.

The company has also concluded plans to supply cooking gas directly to Rivers State instead of routing the product through Lagos.

NLNG’s Managing Director, Tony Attah, made the disclosure when he led other management staff on a visit to Governor Nyesom Wike at the Government House, Port Harcourt yesterday.

Responding Governor Wike pledged support for the facility in view of the 15000 jobs that it could create for further enhancement of the state’s economy.

However, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) have arrested 14 unauthorised retailers of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) also known as cooking gas.

The law enforcement agency, which yesterday visited Galadimawa, Lokogoma axis and other suburbs in Abuja, said the affected persons would be charged to court.

DPR’s Head of Gas, Umar Gwandu, who led the team, said the roadside retailers were dispensing the product in very dangerous circumstances without recourse to safety measures.


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