The Nigerian Navy has destroyed 48 illegal oil refineries, 8,000 metric tons of stolen oil, and 200 metric tons of refined gasoline (diesel), in a recently conducted operation in the Niger-Delta territory, DailyPostNg.com reported.

The operation was executed by high-ranking officers from the Nigerian Naval Ship, NNS DELTA, on Bennet Island and in Kantu community, among other places in the Warri South and the Warri South-West local government areas of the state.

The navy ponders to soon advise the Federal Government to enact a law that would make communities accommodating illegal refineries forfeit their land, Vanguardngr informed.

Nigeria has been tackling illegal oil market – valued at more than $20m a day for many years without a major success. In mid December, in line with its zero tolerance for maritime illegalities, the Nigerian Navy arrested over 20 vessels and their crew, and destroyed some 149 illegal refineries, ThisDayLive wrote.

Some critics had previously pointed out that targeting small criminals diverts the attention from the biggest culprits in oil thefts  — the politically-connected cartels that had been selling on the international market, according to a 2014 report published by Washington Examiner.