Troops of Operation Delta Safe have arrested 24 suspected operators of illegal refineries and oil bunkering in the creeks of Niger Delta and dismantled 13 illegal refineries.
They also recovered 1,339,000 litres of illegally refined petrol, 500,000 litres of kerosene and 9,856 barrels of stolen crude oil during an operation.
Coordinator of Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche, said the troops had continued an aggressive onslaught on economic sabotage in the Niger Delta region.
Enenche made the disclosure at the weekly briefing on military operations at the Defence Headquarters, Abuja, saying troops of Operation Delta Safe conducted anti-crude oil theft, oil bunkering and other anti-illegal maritime activities between January 14 and 20, 2021.
“In the course of their operation, six illegal refining sites, 11 wooden boats, 52 Gee Pee tanks, 102 metal tanks, 17 dugout pits and 45 ovens were immobilised.
“Also, 24 suspects were arrested, 14 pumping machines, two-speed boats and 13 outboard engines were recovered, while 9,856.1 barrels of stolen crude oil, 1,339,000 litres of illegally refined petrol and 500,000 litres of kerosene were recovered,” he said.
He added that on January 14, 2021, Nigerian Navy Ship Delta anti-crude oil team and Forward Operating Base Escravos conducted anti-illegal bunkering operations and deactivated illegally refining site at Egwa Creek in Warri South-West Council.
Enenche revealed that troops of Operation Hadarin Daji and other subsidiary actions sustained their operations in the North-West zone.
He said: “Following credible intelligence on the movement of armed bandits with rustled animals at Bungudu Council of Zamfara State, troops of Forward Operating Base Kekuwuje, responded and made contact with bandits on January 17, 2021.
“During the encounter, 30 armed bandits were neutralised while 24 cows and an unspecified number of sheep were recovered. Troops deployed to Maradun got information of reprisal by armed bandits at Janbako village in Maradun LGA of Zamfara State to foil the attack, but they were ambushed near Janbako village where the troops neutralised five bandits.”
Also, following intelligence, two suspected collaborators with bandits, identified as Mustapha Sani and Murtala Sani were arrested at Dungun Muazu village in Sabuwa Council of Katsina State and have been kept in custody.
Enenche further explained troops of Operation Tura Takai Bango and other security agencies have not relented in their efforts to decimate Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorists in the North East region, adding: “Between January 14 and 20, 2021, the troops conducted several ground and air operations with renewed vigour.
“The operations further degraded the terrorists and denied them freedom of action in the theatre of operation, among other military successes. These were evident in the attendant results recorded within the period.”