Navy arrests three illegal refinery operators in Bayelsa

By The Citizen

The Central Naval Command of the Nigerian Navy in Bayelsa State has arrested three suspected illegal refinery operators.

The suspects were apprehended in the creeks of Bilabiri in Ekeremor Local Government Area of the state.

The Flag Officer Commanding, Central Naval Command, Rear Admiral Stanley Ogoigbe, has handed over the suspects to the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps for prosecution.

Ogoigbe said the suspects were arrested last Tuesday along the creek of Bilabiri in the Bayelsa West Senatorial District.

The FOC said the suspects were nabbed after they were tricked into taking a naval patrol team to an illegal refinery camp in the deep mangrove.

Their speedboat with the inscription Emmanuel, he said, gave them away as it tallied with another recovered at the illegal refinery camp, which also bore the inscription Emmanuel.

Items recovered from the suspects used in their nefarious trade were eight pumping machines and two 75 horse power speedboats, with the inscription Emmmanuel I and Emmanuel 5.

Ogoigbe reiterated the determination of the command and its sister agencies to intensify the ongoing war against crude oil theft, pipeline vandalism and other criminal activities in the Niger Delta.

The command solicited the cooperation of the public.

Receiving the suspects, the Deputy Commandant of the NSCDC, Aniekan Udoeyop, said the law would take its course in order to serve as a deterrent to would-be economic saboteurs in the region.