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NSCDC uncovers illegal refinery in Rivers community

The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Rivers State Command, said its operatives uncovered a local refinery at Adobi-Akwa settlement in the Etche Local Government Area of the state.

The NSCDC said the discovery followed intelligence gathering on the activities of some miscreants involved in the illicit activity, saying operatives attached to its Anti-Vandal Squad were immediately deployed.

The NSCDC Commandant, Rivers State Command, Basil Igwebueze, led journalists into a forest, which is about 6-7 kilometres from the main town, to see things for themselves.

Igwebueze, who was represented by the Head of the Anti-Vandal Squad, Peters Ibiso, said the team sighted where the pipeline vandals tapped into the wellhead of a yet-to-be-identified multinational company, connected their pipes to several cooking pots.

He said, “Upon receiving a tip-off, the anti-vandal operatives swung into action to uncover this illegal oil bunkering site.

“They were in this forest for two days, having cordoned the area. Unfortunately, the perpetrators, upon sighting our men, took to their heels, but an investigation is still ongoing to arrest such defiant elements.”

He further explained the operation techniques of the operators of local illegal refineries, from the point of extraction of crude through vandalism of oil pipelines to cooking in various ovens where the content is subjected to high temperature and transmitted through pipes to reservoirs for storage and onward trans-loading to buyers.

Igwebueze hinted that the command will not relent in the fight against illegal dealings in petroleum products and urged members of the public to have more trust in the corps by providing ‘actionable intelligence’ that would enhance the possible arrest of economic saboteurs in the state.

“Our commitment to continuously work in tandem with the prosecutorial mandate of the Corps to rid the state of economic saboteurs remains unchanged, we value our informants, and most especially the intelligence-driven tip-off received from time to time.

“It is also our duty to ensure that our sources of information are not disclosed to protect our sources. It is, therefore, our delight that the public will continue to have confidence and trust in us as we together protect the nation’s critical national assets and infrastructure from daredevil vandals,” he added.

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