NSCDC Discovers Illegal Refineries Housing 26 Reservoirs

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The Special Intelligence Squad of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps has discovered a large illegal oil refining site in a forest located in Odagwa community, Etche Local Government Area of Rivers State.

The NSCDC reported that during a site raid, they discovered 10 illegal refineries containing roughly 500,000 liters of crude oil in around 50 illegally built reservoirs and arrested five suspects.

The suspects were presented to the press by the NSCDC spokesman, Rivers State Command, Olufemi Ayodele, who announced that the location of the suspects was discovered through reliable intelligence.

He stated that the Commandant General of the NSCDC, Dr Ahmed Audi, has reiterated that all acts of economic sabotage will be aggressively addressed, with arrested suspects facing legal consequences, regardless of their sponsors.

During an operational tour across the large thick forest, he reported encountering approximately 10 different cooking pots with a capacity of 50,000 litres each, a big pumping machine, reservoir tanks, 25 rubber hoses for pumping crude oil, and several long galvanised pipes. Moreover, unquantified litres of crude oil and illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil were stored in six large reservoirs and 20 smaller reservoirs dug in the ground.

He listed the arrested suspects' names and ages as: Favour Chukwu, 29; Desmond Umeh, 25; Godwin Amos, 22; Bineace Galion, 38; and Goodnews David, 23.

According to spokesman Ayodele, the suspects will be prosecuted after the investigations.

Basil Igwebueze, the Commandant of the NSCDC, Rivers State Command, denounced the 'unrepentant' behavior of 'unscrupulous elements' who trespassed on the oil wellhead of 'Heirs Energies Limited and the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited in the vicinity of Imo River 2 Oil and Gas field at Odagwa in Etche.

Igwebueze stated that the criminals, through various channels, inserted their galvanized pipes and siphoned crude oil while processing it on the premises without any reference.

Igwebueze emphasized that the exposure of this massive illegal oil bunkering site is a landmark success and a signal that the NSCDC, as the lead agency in safeguarding all critical national assets and infrastructure, will continue to combat crude oil theft with renewed vigor, collaborating with sister security agencies to protect the nation's economy from saboteurs.

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