Monday, March 27, 2023
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53 Suspected Oil Thieves, arrested in Niger Delta

53 suspected oil theives involved in oil theft and economic sabotage have been arrested in the Niger Delta region by Troops of Operation Delta Safe fighting to rid the country of crude oil theft. also learned that the operatives also discovered and destroyed 40 illegal refining sites, 136 storage facilities, and 66 ovens.

Speaking on the development, the
Director of Defence Media Operations, Major General Musa Danmadami said that troops recovered 9 wooden boats, one generator, 11 vehicles and 2 tricycles, in addition to the recovery of 222,000 litres of suspected crude oil, 83,000 litres of illegal refined Automotive Gas Oil and 1000 litres of Dual Purpose Kerosene.

He said, consequently, “It is worthy to note that the sum of One hundred and twenty-eight million, two hundred and sixty thousand nine hundred and ninety naira (N128,260,990.00) worth of stolen cruse were denied, oil thieves”.

Disclosing that “All recovered items and apprehended suspects have been handed over to the appropriate authority for further action”, Gen. Danmadami said the operations were conducted at the creeks, waterways, high sea, towns, cities of Bayelsa, Delta and River States to checkmate the activities of criminal element and deny them freedom of action.

Listing some of the operations, he said, “Troops raided a suspected cultish hideout at Ikot Anang community in Ukanafun Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State and arrested 3 suspects. Preliminary investigation revealed that the suspect belongs to Debang cult group which are notorious for armed robbery and snatching of motorcycles in the community.

“Troops discovered and destroyed 10 bags and 5 x 25 litres jerrican of illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil along Tuomo-Atamasa flow line in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State as well as recovered a loaded doubled barrel gun. Equally, based on credible information, troops discovered and destroyed an illegal refining site, 7 metal ovens, 12 metal drums, 10 dugout pits, 6 storage tanks and 47 cellophane bags containing illegally refined products.

“The air component of Operation Delta Safe conducted air interdiction operations to several illegal refining sites and creeks at Lelekiri, Owoko and Biemekiri in Rivers State as well as Ogiritoro in Mbo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State between 30 January to 3 February 2023.

“Overhead, the aircrew observed some sites to be active with illegal refining activities at the locations, while some were observed to have been abandoned. The active target locations were engaged with weapons and the location were observed to have exploded in an inferno after the strike, while the illegal refining equipment was equally destroyed.

In the South East, Troops and other security agents conducted operational activities in villages, forests, towns and cities of Anambra, Abia, Enugu and Imo States geared towards restoring peace and normalcy to the region. Notably, troops raided an Indigenous People of Biafra/Eastern Security Network criminal camp at Ovuru community forest in Uzo-Uwanni Local Government Area of Enugu State and recovered one AK47 rifle, 5 rounds of 7.62mm special, one pump action gun, 31 rounds of cartridges, one locally made Improvised Explosive Device, one vehicle, battery, 2 solar panels, one wifi device and 3 handheld radios.

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