Nigerian Troops destroy 36 illegal refining sites, arrest 22 suspects

The  Defence Headquarters says troops of Operation Delta Safe have destroyed 36 illegal refining sites and apprehended 22 suspected oil thieves in the last two weeks.

The Director, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. Edward Buba, said this while giving an update on the operations of the armed forces at a bi-weekly news briefing on Thursday in Abuja.

Buba said troops also destroyed 61 dugout pits, 32 wooden boats, 87 storage tanks, three vehicles, 126 cooking ovens, three outboard engine, one speedboat, two motorcycles, one generator and two pumping machines.

He said the troops also recovered 310,700 litres of crude oil, 14,675 litres of Automotive Gas Oil, 49,000 litres of Dual Purpose kerosene, one weapon and three ammunition.

According to him, “troops on July 24, intercepted and destroyed one wooden boat loaded with 1000 litres of product suspected to be stolen crude oil at Wellhead Cluster Opukushi Community in Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.”

In the Southeast, troops of Operation UDO KA conducted raids on camps/hideouts of Indigenous People of Biafra/Eastern Security Network gunmen in Abia and Anambra States.

He said the troops also arrested suspected gunrunners, rescued kidnapped hostage and recovered arms and ammunition at Onitsha North Local Government Area of Anambra.

“In the conduct of the operations, troops recovered one AK47 rifle loaded with 35 rounds of 7.62mm special, six pump action guns, one locally made pistol, one dane gun, one locally made hand grenade, four vehicles, nine motorcycles, 925 machetes and 151 machetes sharpeners.

“Others are 1,080 sickles, Nigerian Police uniforms and boots, IPOB/ESN uniform, one speaker, rain coats and boots and a chain saw. Troops also apprehended three gunrunners and rescued nine kidnapped hostages.

“Overall, troops will sustain the momentum in tackling the security challenges and shall continue to fight the perpetrators to submission.

“It is expected that well-meaning Nigerians would continue to support the military and indeed stand with the military to flush out the perpetrators of these dastardly acts from among us. Together we can flush them out,” he said.