The Air Component of Operation Delta Safe has destroyed six illegal refining sites (IRS) and five Cotonou boats in Rivers State within three-day operations.
A statement by the Nigeria Air Force (NAF) Director of Public Relations, Air Cdre Edward Gabkwet, said the airstrike was part of effort to combat oil theft and checkmate the activities of economic saboteurs in the Niger Delta region.
He said the air component on November 12, 2023, received intelligence about three active illegal refining sites and two cotonou boats siphoning crude oil from pipelines at Cawthorne Channel and Alakri in Rivers State.
He said the IRS and boats were subsequently engaged and destroyed.
The statement said similar strikes were also carried out at Krakama in Rivers State on the same day, on three cotonou boats conveying suspected illegal refined products.
Again, on November 13, 2023, NAF aircraft struck some sites at Dariama Village in Rivers State following intelligence report of illegal refining activities near the location.
“On arrival, 3 IRS with tanks, pipes and pumping machines as well as Cotonou Boats loaded with suspected illegally refined products were sighted, engaged and subsequently destroyed.
“The intensified air operations should be seen as proactive measures to safeguard the economic interests of the nation and deter criminal elements involved in oil theft,” the NAF spokesman said.
Gabkwet restated that NAF, alongside sister Services and other security agencies, remain committed in its efforts at securing vital government resources and infrastructure in the Niger Delta region and beyond.