The Nigerian Navy Ship DELTA on Tuesday set ablaze over 40 illegal refineries earlier uncovered in Jones Creek, Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State.
Commodore Ibrahim Dewu, the Commander, NNS DELTA, disclosed this to newsmen at the Warri Naval Command shortly after the operation.
Dewu said the suspected crude oil had to be set ablaze so that the offenders would not come back and evacuate the product.
He said: “Burning illegal refineries with the crude was our last option so that the people will not come back and evacuate them.
“However, they cannot even evacuate them because it is in a very large quantity.
“My concern and worry is the effect this illegal acts are causing on the environment.
“We are going to sustain thi operation so that we will be able to stop all these illegal activities within the creeks in line with the directive of the Chief of Naval Staf.
“This will enable the people in the communities to live a normal life because as we speak, aquatic life has been destroyed because the environment is polluted.”
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the illegal refineries and over 200 tanks carrying over 10,000 litres each were uncovered by the navy on February 9, 2017.
This came barely 24 hours after the CNS, Vice Adm. Ibok-Ete Ibas, launched “Operation Tsare Teku IV” in Warri to further combat criminal elements operating in the nation’s maritime domain.
The naval boss had warned those sabotaging the nation’s economic assets to desist from the act before the law caught up with them.