Military uncovers 636 illegal refineries, intercepts 21m litres crude

The military has in the last five months uncovered and busted  636 illegal refining sites and intercepted 21.7 million litres of crude oil valued at N54bn.

The figures were collated from press releases by the military on the activities of troops against oil thieves between August 3 and December 1.

The PUNCH reports that President Bola Tinubu met with service chiefs in June and gave them a marching order to end oil theft in the country, in order to shore up the country’s revenues.

Since then, there has been a heightened military onslaught against oil thieves, particularly in the South-South.

The data analysis by The PUNCH showed that no fewer than 610 suspected oil thieves were nabbed within the five months under review. Also, a total of 670 boats used to convey stolen crude oil and its products were impounded by the military.

According to the military,  on August 3,  36 illegal refining sites, 310,700 litres of stolen crude oil and seven suspected oil theft were arrested along with  32 wooden boats.

On August 11, 39 illegal refining sites were discovered; 1,247,700 litres of stolen crude oil valued at  N607,346,75 were recovered and 17 suspected oil thieves were arrested.

Military operations on August 25 led to the arrest of 22 suspected oil thieves and the recovery of 682,400 litres of stolen crude oil valued at N414,396.250.

On August 31, the military busted 34 active illegal refining sites, recovered 569,400 litres of stolen crude oil, valued at  N765,863,000 and arrested 16 suspects along with 36 boats.

On September 7, the military intercepted 191 suspected oil thieves and recovered 6,652,250 litres of stolen crude oil valued at N4bn.

On September 14,  the military uncovered 89 illegal refining sites, recovered 1,205,950 litres of stolen crude oil estimated at N1,011,851,250 and arrested 45 suspects.

In addition, during operations conducted on September 22, troops recovered 496,250 litres of stolen crude oil worth N946,387,570.00 and arrested seven suspects with 16 boats.

On September 28, troops in the Niger Delta region discovered 34 illegal refining sites, recovered 696,250 litres of stolen crude oil valued at N388,469,650.00 and arrested 22 suspects with 21 boats.

On October 26, the military uncovered 53 illegal refining sites, recovered 983,350 litres of stolen crude oil valued at N968m and arrested 19 suspects with 66 boats.

On November 17, troops discovered 49  refining sites,  recovered 151,850 litres of stolen crude oil estimated at N128m and arrested 49 suspected oil thieves.

Troops destroyed 50 illegal refining sites,  recovered 578,900 litres of crude oil valued at N1bn and arrested 49 suspects with 31 boats on November 23.

Also, On December 1, troops destroyed  51 illegal refining sites,  recovered 267,700 litres of crude oil estimated at N668m and arrested 58 oil thieves with 25 boats

A security expert,  Oladele Fajana, urged the military not to rest on their laurels,  adding that the activities of oil thieves had seriously impacted the economy of the country negatively.

 “Their arrests and recoveries are quite impressive.  They must do more because the activities of oil thieves are inimical to the nation’s economy,” he said.


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