JTF destroys 40 illegal refining sites in Abia

As part of its mandate to rid the South-South region of the country of criminality, specifically crude oil theft, the Joint Task Force, Operation Delta Safe (OPDS), has destroyed over 40 illegal refining sites at Ukwa Forest, in Ukwa West Local Government Area of Abia.

The Commander of the Joint Military Force, Rear Adm. John Okeke, who led the operation, said that over 40 sites operating in the area were refining stolen crude oil siphoned by oil thieves.

The commandant also called on residents of the region to partner with the security agencies to rid the operational area of criminals, saying the area of Operation Delta Safe will never be a haven for illegality, especially those criminals that have engaged in pilfering of our oil.

“I made it clear then on the assumption of duty that if you are not ready to indulge in legitimate business, you have two options: either they relocate to another area or you embrace legitimate business,” he stated.

Okeke said the Joint Task Force had been able to traverse the 40 sites.

“But here we are today in Ukwa West of Abia State, bordering Oyigbo LGA of Rivers State, the criminals felt that we would never get to this place, but here we are.

“It is surprising to note that here we have over 17 divisions according to their naming, each of these divisions houses over 40 sites.

“Of course, behind me, you will see one that construction is ongoing; it’s far larger than two trucks. You can imagine the quantity of products they would have stolen and refined here.

“So, I want to say today, we are not going to relent. For those of you that do not want to abide by extant regulations regarding petroleum products, I will advise them to relocate because we will come for you,” he said.

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