The Air Component of Operation Delta Safe (OPDS), on Saturday conducted air strikes, destroying three boats tapping crude oil from a pipeline in Rivers State.
According to a statement by a spokesperson of the Nigerian Air Force, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet on Monday, the operation occurred at about 4 Nautical Miles South-East of Bille, a riverine area located west of Bonny Island and South of Port Harcourt, in Rivers State.
“The air strikes became necessary after 3 boats were sighted tapping crude oil from a pipeline. Consequently, the boats were engaged and destroyed by the aircraft.
“Flying towards Port Harcourt, the crew also observed an active illegal refining site with tanks and reservoirs loaded with suspected illegal refined products, about 4 miles South-east of Idama in Rivers State. The site was subsequently attacked and destroyed,” the statement partly read.
Gabkwet assured that air strikes against “these economic saboteurs will be sustained until they desist from their acts of thievery and economic sabotage.”
He added that the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Hasan Abubakar, has since directed all air component commanders nationwide to ensure they team up with other security agencies as they sustain air strikes on all criminal elements in the country.
The Chief of Air Staff was quoted to have said that “The days of treating criminal elements in our country with kids’ gloves are over. We must continue on this trajectory until we bring all of them to their knees.”