Warri — THE 3 Battalion of Nigerian Army, Effurun, and Joint Task Force, JTF, yesterday, destroyed over 600 illegal refineries in Mango village and Gbekebor waterways in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State.
Commanding Officer, 3 Battalion, Lt. Col. Ifeanyi Otu, who led the over four hours operations, described those behind the illicit trade as economic saboteurs.
He also lamented the environmental degradation caused by the illegal refineries and called on the perpetrators to desist from the act and take to legitimate businesses to better their lots.
He noted that the JTF would intensify patrol of the waterways and other flash points and called for cooperation between the public and the military task force.
He said: "This is a very terrible situation. It is an act of economic sabotage that the Federal Government is preaching against. No decent society should condone it. We will continue to destroy them and also carry out enlightenment campaigns for people to realise that this is not the right business to embark upon because the damage is enormous. You can also see the environmental degradation wreaked on the ecosystem for selfish reasons. I advise them to desist from it."
Over 2,000 drums, 1,000 surface tanks, four Cotonou locally made boats, several hoses, three pumping machines, two generating sets, filling machines and many operating huts were destroyed in the operation.
Vanguard investigation revealed that the over three kilometres area near Gbekebor had been polluted and over two kilometres area near the Mango community had also been polluted.