Warri - Commodore Aliyu Sule, Commander of the Nigerian Navy Ship, NNS Delta, on Thursday said it destroyed 12 illegal refineries in Egbokodo and Kantu communities of Delta.
The commander made this known to newsmen at the Warri Naval Base in Warri Delta.
Egbokodo and Kantu communities are in Warri South and Warri South/West Local Government Areas of Delta State respectively.
"Two of the illegal refineries were destroyed in Egbokodo while others were ruined in Kantu," Sule said.
Sule addede that the command would continue to checkmate perpetrators of illegal bunkering until the criminal act was completely eradicated.
"In Kantu forest, we destroyed 10 illegal refineries and I understand there are more, so, we are going back to the place to destroy them.
"I understand that place is full of illegal refineries, that what we have just done was a tip of the iceberg, so we will not stop as long as they don’t stop," he said.
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The commander said intelligence gathering was very vital in winning the war against oil theft.
He urged the public to always supply his personnel with useful information to stop the illegal bunkering in the state.
Sule, who decried the ecological effect of the illicit trade on the environment, said that destruction of the ill-gotten products was part of their regulations.
"We will carry out our mandate such that our environment and the people are winners against oil thieves," Sule said.
One wooden boat laden with a product suspected to be crude oil was burnt in Egbokodo.
Two pumping machines, five tents and over 20 metallic and plastic drums filled with illegally refined diesel and petrol were also destroyed in Kantu.
Sule said the command on Wednesday showed the media four suspected marketers of illegally-refined crude oil apprehended at the old Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) in Warri.
"The suspects, who are middle-aged men, are still under our custody.
"They were alleged to have been in possession of 33 drums and 254 jerry cans filled with diesel and other products.
"We will hand them over to the relevant authority for prosecution as soon as investigation is concluded," he said.
He advised parents to monitor their wards and know the kind of friends they fraternised with to discourage them from indulging in oil theft.