Nigeria’s Anti-Crude Theft Troop Destroys 50 Illegal Refining Sites

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By Adedapo Adesanya 

Nigeria’s anti-crude theft troop, Operation Delta Safe, has destroyed 50 illegal oil refining sites in the Niger Delta region and arrested 51 suspects in the last week.

The Director of Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. Edward Buba, who made this known on Thursday in Abuja while briefing newsmen on the operations of the military, said the troops also eliminated four criminals and recovered arms and ammunition.

He added that a total of 578,900 litres of stolen crude oil, 454,330 litres of illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil and 10,000 litres of dual-purpose kerosene (DPK) were recovered during the operations.

According to him, troops also destroyed 245 dugout pits, 31 boats, 69 storage tanks, one tricycle, 23 vehicles, 162 cooking ovens, one pumping machine and three outboard engines.

He said the troops neutralised a notorious criminal and recovered one locally made pistol on November 14, in the Akpabuyo Local Government Area of Cross River State.

“On November 15, troops with hybrid forces raided suspected drugs peddlers’ hideout in Isoko North Local Government Area of Delta and arrested six suspects.

“The maritime component of Operation Delta Safe on November 17, conducted a search and rescue operation following a distress call on a missing Cameroonian-flagged motor Fishing Vessel MFV AFKI with registration number UK12 and number AFKI 8432780.

“After frantic surveillance, maritime component traced and made contact with the vessel 17 nautical miles off Pennington terminal.

“The vessel was recovered with two foreign crew members onboard,” he said.

In the South East, the troop’s spokesperson said the men of Operation UDO KA neutralised six criminals, apprehended 14 suspected IPOB/ESN elements and rescued two kidnapped hostages.

He added that the troops recovered a pump action gun, one double barrel gun, one locally made pistol, six rounds of 9mm ammo, a motorcycle and two mobile phones, among other items.

According to him, all recovered items, arrested suspects and rescued hostages were handed over to relevant authorities for further action.

The Defence Headquarters also said the troops of the Armed Forces of Nigeria in the last week eliminated 99 terrorists and apprehended 198 others in different operations across the country.

The troops also rescued a total of 139 hostages and recovered 141 assorted weapons and 1,463 assorted ammunition in the various operations across North East, North Central and North West theatres of operation.

The breakdown of recovered items, according to him, include one GPMG, one GT3 rifle, one assault rifle, 49 AK47 rifles, one Josef Magnum Pump Action gun, one double barrel gun and two single barrel guns.

Others are nine locally-made pistols, 13 Dane guns, one hand grenade, seven locally-made rifles, and two locally-made hand grenades.

In the North East, he said the troops of Operation Hadin Kai on November 17, apprehended three suspected terrorist collaborators in the Gujba Local Government Area of Yobe.

He added that the suspects claimed to have been coerced to go on the errand by terrorist elements, adding that a total of 108 terrorists and their families comprising 13 adult males, 32 adult females and 63 children surrendered to troops between Nov. 17 and Nov. 23 within the theatre of operations.

He said the troops neutralised 19 terrorists, arrested 21 and rescued eight kidnapped victims within the week across the theatre.

In the North Central, Buba said the troops of Operation Safe Haven neutralised three terrorists, apprehended 32 and rescued eight kidnapped victims as well as recovered various types of arms and ammunition, amongst other items.

He added that troops of Operation Whirl Stroke conducted raids at suspected criminal hideouts in Takum and Katsina-Ala Local Government Areas of Taraba and Benue States, respectively, neutralised two terrorists, arrested nine terrorists and rescued three kidnapped hostages.

He said the troops also recovered one AK47 rifle, one magazine and 27 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, amongst other items.

In the North West, the Defence spokesman said the troops of Operation Hadarin Daji neutralised 20 terrorists, apprehended 20 terrorists and rescued 83 kidnapped victims in different operations across Katsina, Sokoto and Zamfara States.

He said the air component of the operation conducted air interdiction on a targeted terrorist leaders’ enclave known as Lalbi Nagogo.

According to him, the enclave is in Danmusa Local Government Area of Katsina State and the location was struck with rockets and cannons after confirmation that the terrorist and his foot soldiers were present there.

“Battle damage assessment revealed several terrorists were neutralised with various structures destroyed,” he said.

Buba said the troops of Operation Whirl Punch conducted fighting patrols in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State and Kuje Area Council of FCT respectively.

He said the troops neutralised 16 terrorists, arrested 16 suspects and rescued three hostages in ambush and offensive operations on the terrorists within the period.

He added that the air component had on November 16, conducted air interdiction at a suspected terrorist leader known as Boderi in his new enclave located in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

According to him, the location was observed to be active with terrorists and was acquired and engaged with rockets and cannons.

He said the battle damage assessment revealed that the older brother of the terrorist leader named, Nasiru, with several of his lieutenants and foot soldiers were neutralised while their structures were destroyed.

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