The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Rivers State Command, has uncovered an illegal local refinery at Otamiri-Etche in Etche Local Government Area of the state.
Addressing newsmen on Thursday, March 9, 2023, the NSCDC State Commandant Michael Besong Ogar said the Command for the first time is witnessing a new strategy of operations by illegal oil Bunkerers.
He hinted that but for the eagle eye of the Command and the sustained intelligence gathered from the informant, it would have been difficult unraveling the illegal oil bunkering activities ongoing in such a remote part of the town.
“I must confess that this is the first time of witnessing a well fabricated illegal refinery with such a wide range of pipes laid across the area, as you can see how big the land is, you can also imagine how unscrupulous people can be despite the continuous fight against illegal dealings in petroleum products,” he said.
“We were able to uncover this illegal bunkering site based on sustained Intelligence, the perpetrators tapped into Heirs Holding Oil and Gas facility through the pipeline bulk delivery and syphoned crude oil through carefully constructed pipes to their illegal local refinery.
“We have commenced intense investigation into the matter, someone must have given out this expanse of land to the bunkerers and through the owner of the land we will unravel the mystery behind this economic sabotage
“The NSCDC has a clear statutory mandate to safeguard critical national assets and Infrastructures across the federation, we will not be deterred or distracted by the activities of oil thieves in the State; Without compromise we will go after them and ensure that the illegal dealings in petroleum products is reduced drastically in order to boost the nation’s economy again,”
The Commandant said the Oil and Gas Company will extract the crude oil back to the source while the Intelligence team and the Antivandal Squad will continue to chase the evil perpetrators till they are brought into custody and charged to court.
He however issued a stern warning to oil thieves and operators of local refineries in the state to either relocate or face the full wrath of the law.