Military destroys 107 illegal refineries in 2 weeks – DHQ
Crude Oil theft in Nigeria
By Sumaila Ogbaje
Defence Headquarters says troops of Operation Delta Safe (OPDS) discovered and destroyed 107 illegal petroleum products refining sites in the Niger Delta in the last two weeks.
The Director, Defense Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. Musa Danmadami, made the declaration at the bi-weekly news briefing on operations of the armed forces on Thursday in Abuja.
Danmadami said troops sustained the war against oil theft, illegal refining and other criminal activities in the Niger Delta through aggressive patrols, raids and clearance operations amongst other strategies.
He said the operations were conducted at the creeks, waterways, in the sea, towns and cities of Bayelsa, Delta, Rivers, Cross River and Akwa Ibom with significant results.
“Troops in the conduct of Operation Octopus Grip and Operation Dakatar Da Barawo discovered and destroyed 107 illegal refining sites, 140 storage tanks, 58 reservoirs, 151 ovens, 68 dugout pits and 22 boats.
“Troops recovered 561,200 litres of crude oil, 119,000 litres of diesel, one fibre boat, five pumping machines, two outboard engines, 10 giant plastic tanks, one tricycle and six vehicles while they arrested nine suspected criminals.
“All recovered items and apprehended suspects have been handed over to the appropriate authorities for further action,” he said.
Danmadami said troops responded to an election disruption report within Ogbakiri community in Emouha Local Government Area of Rivers on March 19 and arrested 12 armed thugs.
He said the response led to the recovery of four AK47 rifles, one FN rifle, four AK47 magazines, one pistol loaded with two rounds of 9mm ammunition, one pump action gun, four cartridges, 16 rounds of 7.62mm special and one Hilux vehicle.
Danmadami said in the Southeast geopolitical zone, troops of the Joint Task Force, “Operation Udo Ka’’, neutralised seven members of the Indigenous People of Biafra/Eastern Security Network (IPOB/ESN) criminals and arrested 32 persons.
He said troops also recovered five AK47 rifles, 29 pump action guns, three Dane guns, four locally-made pistols, one double-barrel gun, and two rounds of 9mm ammunition, 188 rounds of 7.62mm special and 46 empty cases of ammunition.
Also recovered were seven live cartridges, three magazines, four radios, 16 machetes, three knives, 14 motorcycles, one vehicle, five mobile phones and several pairs of uniforms and boots.
“All recovered items and apprehended suspects have been handed over to the appropriate authority for further action,’’ he said.
Danmadami said troops of Operation AWATSE continued to clamp down on criminal elements within the general area of operations in the Southwest.
He said the troops, in conjunction with operatives of the NDLEA raided Awoyaya and General Paints areas of Ajah in Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State on March 10.
They arrested 14 suspects and recovered 5kg of Indian hemp, 7kg of other illicit drugs, seven bottles of codeine, 6gm of tramadol, 5gm of methamphetamine and N3,250 during the operation.
He said the troops also apprehended seven armed thugs attempting to disrupt the March 18 elections in the zone.
“Troops recovered four AK47 rifles, three Jack knives, one cartridge gun, three mobile phones, one cutlass and 350 sachets of Indian hemp from the thugs,’’ Danmadami told newsmen.