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NAF strikes illegal oil refining sites in Niger Delta

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NAF strikes illegal oil refining sites in Niger Delta

In a targeted effort to combat illegal oil refining activities plaguing the Niger Delta region, the Air Component of Operation Delta Safe said it launched a series of air strikes between March 25 and 26, 2024.

The operation, spearheaded by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), aimed to dismantle illicit facilities and disrupt the operations of oil thieves.

According to Edward Gabkwet, Director of Public Relations and Information for the Nigerian Air Force, the raids specifically targeted illegal refining sites and barges laden with stolen crude oil products across multiple locations in Rivers State.

Gabkwet stated, “The Nigerian Air Force, in collaboration with other security agencies, conducted precision strikes on identified illegal refining sites and intercepted barges transporting illicit products.”

The operation yielded significant results, with several illegal facilities destroyed in areas including Bille, Dariama, Elem Bekinkiri, Temakiri, Opumakiri, and Degema. Gabkwet elaborated,

Active illegal refining sites were identified and neutralized, while abandoned sites were also discovered and rendered inoperative.

At Bille, a barge carrying illegal refined products was intercepted and destroyed as it navigated through the creeks. Active refining sites at Dariama and Temakiri were razed, uncovering reservoirs and cooking pots used in the illicit refining process.

Similarly, at Elem Bekinkiri and Opumakiri, previously abandoned sites were found and promptly neutralized.

Gabkwet highlighted the persistence of perpetrators in reactivating previously destroyed sites, particularly at Bille and Dariama.

The Nigerian Air Force and other security forces remain committed to intensifying efforts to detect and disrupt the activities of oil thieves operating in the region and beyond, he affirmed.

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