Military destroys 34 illegal refining sites, apprehends 59 suspects

Oil theft, an organised crime in the Niger Delta region
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By Sumaila Ogbaje

Troops of Operation Delta Safe, have uncovered and destroyed 34 illegal refining sites and apprehended 59 suspected oil thieves, among other criminal elements in two weeks.

Director, Defence Media Operations, Military headquarters, Maj.-Gen. Edward Buba, made this known while briefing newsmen on Thursday in Abuja.

Buba said the troops also destroyed 38 dugout pits, 21 boats, 57 storage tanks, 10 vehicles, three tapping hoses, four drum receivers, 89 cooking ovens, six pumping machines and three outboard engines.

He said the troops also recovered 696,250 litres of stolen crude oil, 54,400 litres of illegally refined AGO and 1,200 litres of PMS, two motorcycles, four weapons and 78 assorted ammunition.

He said the troops had maintained momentum against the activities of crude oil theft in Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers and other states in the Niger Delta region and denied criminals freedom of action.

In the South East, Buba said troops of operation UDO KA conducted raid operations on terrorists hideouts,  eliminated and arrested suspects in Abia, Enugu, Imo and Anambra States during the period.

He said the troops neutralised 11 IPOB/ESN terrorists, arrested 20 and rescued 15 kidnapped hostages as well as recovery of several calibres of arms and ammunition.

He added that the air component of Operation UDO KA also bombed targeted terrorists’ areas with rockets and cannons, neutralising several of them and destroying their structures.

According to him, all recovered items, arrested suspects and rescued hostages, have been handed over to relevant authority for further action. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

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Edited by Remi Koleoso/Vincent Obi

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