The Akwa Ibom State Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has successfully clamped down an on an illegal oil refinery in Obo Ikot Ita in Nsit Ibom local government area.
A statement signed by the Acting Public Relations Officer of the command, DSC Ekerete Friday, said the State Commandant, Mr Abidemi Majekodunmi, led a team of NSCDC operatives to the refinary site on Saturday.
The statement read in part, “The locally fabricated refinery owned by one Mr Glory Amos, a self acclaimed doctor operates from the backyard of a four bedroom flat and, from exhibits gathered, refines and produces engine oil.
“The clampdown followed from weeks of intelligence gathering on suspicious movement of petroleum products in and out of the suspected building which was diligently verified by our personnel.
“On storming the building, a very large constructed iron contraption containing cooked (crudely refined) engine oil sitting on a fire bed was seen. The extra large container contained a substantial volume of ‘engine oil’ and affixed with a valve for dispensing the ‘refined lubricant’.
“There were other locally constructed set of pots and drums linked with pipes, typical of local refineries in the illegal factory. There were some drums and basins which had contents of the illegally refined lubricant which the suspect admitted to producing.
“There was also a sieve and a large pile of firewood used for fueling the cracking process.
“Furthermore, the team discovered an underground tank in the front of the building disguised as a well. The suspect was asked to draw out the liquid content in the underground tank, which turned out to be suspected petroleum product mixed with water.
“Beyond the illegal refining of petroleum products, the suspect also engages in the production of balms, dry gins, creams, and drugs. These items, especially the drugs were sighted in significantly large quantities and already packaged for market and human consumption. All these were produced without approval from NAFDAC by his own admission.
“Commandant Majekodunmi invited NAFDAC officials to the crime scene and they have taken samples of the various drugs for laboratory tests.
“Other pharmaceutical exhibits like vials, which were found in very large quantities were also taken as exhibits. The suspect, who claimed to be an homeopathic doctor could not produce any license to operate his laboratory in the same compound used for the illegal refining.
“While addressing newsmen, Commmandant Majekodunmicondemned the heinous acts of the suspect in totality, underscoring the unquantifiable collateral damage the badly refined lubricant he produces does to cars, generators and other machineries with serious implications for the economy. He enjoined citizens to always volunteer intelligence to security agencies, as he assures them of high confidentiality.
“Unfortunately, events took a vicious turn as hoodlums in the community grouped themselves and attacked the team with the aim of rescuing the two suspects in custody. They blocked the road brandishing various weapons. In the ensuing chaos, the prime suspect escaped. Commandant Majekodunmi has ordered a manhunt for the prime suspect, Mr Amos Glory. A female, MrsMfon Udo found with him is in custody, while investigations continue.
“Meanwhile, the illegal refinery has been locked and sealed while investigations continue.”