From Nosa Akenzua, Asaba
Nigerian Army Taskforce Operating within the Niger- Delta region has destroyed 215 illegal oil refineries,135 drums cotonou boats’ products.
The taskforce, 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, have intensified anti- illegal oil bunkering,sea piracy operations within the Division’s Area of Responsibility ( AOR) and ensure tight security network to ward off enconomic saboteurs,sea piracy that had culminated on the increase in oil production by multinational oil companies.
A press release by the Army Acting Public Relations Officer, Col Sagir Musa, a copy made available to journalists, stated that anti-illegal oil bunkering and anti sea piracy operations conducted across the Division’s Area of Responsibilty (AOR),between the month of April and May 2019,indicated that troops of 16 Brigade (Bde) successfully conducted many anti-illegal oil bunkering operations within Asitobo/Tumbo Creek and Ukparatobu in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, Obiafu in ONLGA, Ubeta, Oyakama and Obodi in Ahoada West Local Government Area of Rivers State, Ebelebiri in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State and Ogbotobo in Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
“During the operations, 46 illegal oil refining sites were located and
destroyed along with 85 sacks/cellophane bags, 10 drums and 4 Cotonou boats all containing illegally refined products.
Additionally, 10 suspects were arrested while 2 motorcycles and 10 mobile phones were recovered, the vigilant troops also arrested 3 suspected sea robbers at Foropa in Southern Ijaw local government area of Bayelsa State on 26 April 2019 with one locally made gun and 3 live cartridges. All suspects and exhibits have since been handed over to relevant authorities for prosecution” Col Musa added
Similar operations were said to have been launched in 63 Bde AOR. hence, troops of 3 Battalion in conjunction with troops of Sector 1 Joint Task Force Operation DELTA SAFE (JTF OPDS) carefully planned and successfully executed massive anti-illegal oil bunkering operations covering Jones, Yeye and Otumara creeks, as well as Beneth Island and Otumara general area of Warri South-West LGA of Delta State.
“Similar operations were also conducted in Ozoro, Otor-Igho communities and Ozoro-Kwale road in Isoko North LGA of Delta State.
Uguangwe, Ubeji, Ogbokodo-Itsekiri, Okogho, Okerisa/Ugboritseduwa Creeks and Makaraba in Warri South LGA of Delta State.
The gallant troops also operated along the Benin River in Warri North Local Government Area,Uvwie Council Area,Yorki in Burutu , Sapele, Ejekota, Ewu general area and Orere Waterside all in Ughelli Local Government Area of Delta State among others.
Consequently, a total of 35 sting operations were conducted during the period under review, in which 65 illegal oil refineries were located and destroyed in addition to 150 cellophane bags, 120 drums and 15 Cotonou boats containing illegally acquired products,7 suspects were arrested and handed over to relevant authorities for prosecution” the Army spokesman said.
According to the statement, “operations are routinely conducted by the Division’s Special Company (SC) in Rivers State.Troops of the SC patriotically patrolled the entire Rivers State including Abonnema Wharf, Total Elf, Trans Amadi Layout, East-West Road, Aluu, Marine Base, Aboloma, Mbodo and Makoba all in Obio-Akpor Local Government Area among others.
“Other achievements of the operations are the identification subsequent destruction of 28 illegal oil refineries along with 1000 sacks/cellophane bags, 760 drums of illegally refined products, 25 dump sites and 6 loaded Cotonou boats containing illegally acquired products.”
The statement further disclosed that 12 suspects were arrested along with 60 Tankers/Trucks as well as 26 four-wheel vehicles used in the criminal act of economic sabotage,adding that the arrested suspects and exhibits have been handed over to relevant security agencies for prosecution
Meanwhile, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai through the General Officer Commanding 6 Division Major General Jamil Sarham, commended the troops for their dedication and selfless service to the nation and urge them to redouble the efforts in checkmating illegal oil bunkering, sea piracy and pipeline vandalisation in 6 Division (AOR).