The Nigerian Navy on Thursday said it had raided more illegal refineries and arrested 11 suspected oil thieves.

This is contained in a statement signed by its Director of Information, Commodore Christian Ezekobe, in Abuja.

“In continuation of the Chief of Naval Staff’s (CNS) campaign tagged `Operation Zero Crude Oil Theft (Zero COT)’, more illegal refineries have been destroyed in the Niger Delta region.

“This time, a patrol team deployed by Forward Operation Base (FOB), Escravos in Delta conducted several raids on illegal refinery sites around Jones, Sara and Oporoza Creeks in Warri South LGA of Delta.

“During the raids, the team arrested 11 suspects and destroyed 13 ‘Cotonou boats’ laden with suspected stolen crude oil.

“The team also recovered two speed boats and a Cotonou boat carrying 20 tanks of different capacities measuring a total of 160,000 litres of illegally refined Automotive Gas oil (AGO).

“Other items recovered from the criminals include six outboard engines and four pumping machines,’’ the statement said.

It added that in a similar operation by NNS PATHFINDER in Rivers, patrol teams intercepted and destroyed some speed boats and several drums of illegally refined AGO, mostly around Onne in Rivers.

“Specifically, six speed boats conveying about 30 drums of various sizes laden with illegally refined AGO were destroyed between Sept. 10 and Sept. 11.

“The arrested suspects are being interrogated and would be handed over to the appropriate prosecuting agency for further action,’’ it said.

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