The Nigerian Navy (NN) says it has destroyed no fewer than 637 illegal refineries in the Niger Delta in 2018, through “Operation River Sweep”.  The Chief of Naval Staff, Ibok-Ete Ibas, a vice admiral, disclosed this on Monday in Abuja, while briefing journalists on the scorecard of the Navy in 2018.

Mr Ibas was represented by Belgory Ibe-Enwo, a rear admiral and Chief of Policy and Plans, Naval Headquarters, Abuja  According to him, 104 speed boats and 340 suspects were also arrested in connection with illegal bunkering or snuggling during the period.

The Operation involves air surveillance, insertion of Special Forces by gunboats, pulling down of located illegal refining sites with the use of swamp buggies and arrest/destruction of boats and barges found in such locations.  The CNS said that the quantity of crude oil lost to illegal oil refining activities during the period was about 277, 040 barrels.