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April 18, 2024

Military destroys 39 illegal refineries, apprehends oil thieves, vandals

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By Sumaila Ogbaje

Defence Headquarters says the troops of the Joint Task Force, Operation Delta Safe, have in the last two weeks  destroyed 39 illegal oil refining sites in the South South zone.

The Director, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. Musa Danmadami, made this known at a bi-weekly news briefing on military operations on Thursday, in Abuja.

Danmadami said the troops in the conduct of Operation Octopus Grip and other operations destroyed 48 cooking ovens, 103 storage tanks, 27 dugout pits and 33 wooden boats during the period.

He said the troops also recovered one tug boat, a barge, 3 pumping machines, three speed boats and 13 vehicles.

According to him, troops recovered 274,000 litres of crude oil, 71,000 litres of Automotive Gas Oil, 15 Ak47 rifles, while 40 suspected economic saboteurs were arrested.

“All recovered items and apprehended suspects have been handed over to the appropriate authority for further action” he said.

“Equally, the air component of the  Operation Delta Safe conducted air interdiction to several illegal refining sites and creeks at Gogokiri Degema and Okrika Local Government Areas both in Rivers State between Jan. 12 and Jan. 24.

“Crew observed the sites to be active make shift tents sighted as well as illegal refining activities been carried out.

“Targets were engaged with weapons and the locations were observed to have exploded in an inferno while the illegal refining equipment’s were also destroyed,” he said.

In South East, defence spokesman said the military and other security agencies had sustained the offensive against the activities of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra/Eastern Security Network criminals in the zone.

He said the troops had  neutralised six terrorists, arrested 24 and rescued 16 abducted civilians.

According to him, several calibre of arms and ammunition including AK47 rifles, pump action rifles, IEDs and locally made explosive pipes among other items were also  recovered. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Auwalu Birnin Kudu/Isaac Aregbesola

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