[dropcap type=”1″]A[/dropcap] community where six illegal refinery camps were found in Bilabiri, Ekeremor Local Government Area, Bayelsa State, has been taken over by troops of the Central Naval Command (CNC) of the Nigerian Navy, with headquarters in Yenagoa, the state capital.

The six huge camps were linked to one another, creating a beehive of illegal deals on petroleum products.

[pull_quote_center]The troops also seized over N10.2bn worth of stolen products consisting of two million liters of illegally-refined Automated Gas Oil (AGO) and over one million barrels of stolen substances suspected to be crude oil.[/pull_quote_center]

Six large Cotonou boats used by the suspected thieves to transport the products were also impounded by the troops.


The Flag Officer Commanding, CNC, Rear Admiral Apochi Suleiman, said the command achieved the feat through a tip-off.

He said the oil thieves operated on a landmass of over 100 hectares and created a black market for massive illegal deals on stolen petroleum products.

Suleiman said the command deployed its patrol teams from Delta and Yenagoa to ensure a daily surveillance of the camps and the impounded boats.

The FOC was accompanied to the creeks by the Deputy Command Operations, CNC, Captain Mustapha Hassan and other senior officers.
However, Suleiman said destroying the camps in situ, as required by law, would lead to serious environmental pollution


He said the command was waiting for further directive from the Naval Headquarters in Abuja, adding that the navy embarked on zero-tolerance to crude theft and pipeline vandalism in the region and called on oil thieves to desist from their criminal acts.

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