Navy uncovers ‘largest discovery’ of illegal mining site
THE Nigeria Navy has discovered what the Flag Officer commanding (FOC) Central Naval Command, Rear Admiral, Apochi Suleiman, described as “the largest discovery” of illegal refining site in the Niger Delta area.
The site, located at Asiagbene Community in Burutu local council of Delta State, comprised over 50 illegal refining units scattered over three nautical miles.
Judging by the huge metal tanks used by the illicit refiners in the site, it was learnt that large quantity of refined petroleum products was produced there daily.
Suleiman revealed a combined patrol of officers and men of NNS Brass and NNS Delta made the discovery.
He said: “From what I have seen, it is the largest discovery in recent time of illegal refineries. It is a very concealed area and we will continue to unveil them,” Suleiman added.
Also, a large wooden boat loaded with about 150 drums of illegally refined product suspected to be AGO (diesel), was impounded near the refining site and destroyed by fire.
He said since he assumed office, his strategy had been to make illegal oil bunkering and refining very unattractive, saying “my advice to those involved in the illicit business is to find a legitimate job to do”.
The naval chief said the directive on zero tolerance on oil bunkering and other criminal activities in the creeks and waterways by the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) would be vehemently enforced.
He vowed to deal ruthlessly with oil bunkers, sea pirates and all forms of criminality perpetrated in his areas of operation, stressing that no stone would be left unturned to enforce the directive.