The Central Naval Command (CNC) of the Nigerian Navy on Thursday said it had intensified efforts at stamping out oil theft and illegal refineries in the Niger Delta region.

Lt.-Cdr. Edward Yeibo, the command‘s spokesman, said in a statement that the command had conducted a raid in Akassa Community in Brass Local Government Area and destroyed eight illegal refineries.

He said that some soldiers attached to Nigerian Agip Oil Company in Brass Island also joined the Navy in the operation.

“A total of eight refineries and about 300 tonnes of products suspected to be Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) and Crude Oil were destroyed in the camp.

“The destruction was in accordance with extant regulations of destroying sites when arrest was not effected.

“The perpetrators fled the area before the arrival of the military personnel.

“Other items destroyed include seven surface tanks, 93 drums containing products suspected to be AGO, amongst others,” he said in the statement.

Yeibo said that Rear Adm. Apochi Suleiman, the Flag Officer Commanding CNC, during his visit to the scene, commended the efforts of officers and ratings of the command.

He quoted Suleiman as saying that the exercise was part of the Zero Tolerance Campaign of the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Adm. Ibok-Ete Ibas, against illegal oil bunkering and crude oil theft.

“There will be no hiding place for oil thieves in the Central Naval Command’s area of responsibility.

“I admonish oil thieves to desist from illegalities and get involved in meaningful businesses or face the wrath of the law,” he quoted the Flag Officer Commanding as saying.