The Nigerian Army destroyed 143 illegal refineries during its Operation Crocodile Smile in the Niger Delta region, Brigadier-General Hassan Hamisu has said.
Similarly, the Nigerian Navy said that it has arrested four crude oil thieves who specialize in illegally refining crude oil into automotive gas oil, AGO, while 85 large drums of AGOs were destroyed by the operatives of the Navy and Operation Delta Safe.
Speaking in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Brig-General Hassan, who is the Brigade Commander, 2 Brigade, Port Harcourt, made the disclosure while fielding questions from newsmen after a Jumat service at the barracks to mark the nation’s 56 independence anniversary. Commending the gallantry of soldiers during the Crocodile Smile operation which has ended in the region, he said that it was carried out by soldiers of 2 and 4 Brigades. “I conducted the Crocodile Smile operation in some states in the South-South. Success was recorded in the area of destruction of criminal camps and illegal refineries. We have not rested since the operation. We shall continue to partner with other security agencies to ensure a safer environment,” he said.
On his part, Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ibas, weekend, commended youths of Ataba Community in Akwa Ibom State for providing timely information on the activities of oil thieves which led to their arrests and destruction of the illegal AGO. A statement from Naval Headquarters by Commodore Christian Ezekobe, Director of Information, said, “In continuation of the clampdown on crude oil thieves and illegal bunkerers, the Chief of the Naval Staff has expressed the appreciation of the Nigerian Navy to the gallant youths of Ataba Community in Akwa Ibom State for their exemplary conduct.”