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NAF airstrikes destroy 13 illegal oil refining sites, 7 gunboats

Gabkwet said the aircrew also destroyed some illegal refining sites located about 6 km from Tunu in Bayelsa.

Oil theft in Nigeria is now an 'existential threat' according to Shell (Image Source: Reuters)

This is contained in a statement by the Director, Public Relations and Information, NAF, AVM Edward Gabkwet, on Sunday in Abuja.

Gabkwet said the air interdictions conducted between June 18 and June 22, also dispersed five J-5 buses attempting to siphon suspected crude oil products from surface tanks.

He said that some of the illegal sites were discovered near Imo River on June 18 with seven overhead tanks, which were later destroyed while several suspected bunkerers fled.

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According to him, air strikes were also extended to Willcourt in Rivers on June 19, after an illegal site and canoe filled with illegally refined products as well as some gunboats

Gabkwet said the aircrew also destroyed some illegal refining sites located about 6 km from Tunu in Bayelsa.

He said that the air component undertook another significant strike on June 22, when the crew spotted 5xJ5 buses, probably reconfigured into mini tankers at the bank of Imo River attempting to siphon illegally refined products.

“Amazed at this change of tactics by these economic saboteurs, the crew did not hesitate to immediately destroy the illegal refining sites feeding the buses.

“The J5 buses were later seen dispersed with some taking cover under trees to avoid detection.

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“Air strikes against economic saboteurs and oil thieves have continued to record the expected outcomes.

“This is majorly due to improved intelligence, enhanced air-to-ground coordination, and most importantly, due to NAF’s improved agility and resilience.

“These operations will be sustained until activities of these saboteurs are reduced to the barest minimum,” he said.

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