As part of military operations to tackle oil theft, illegal bunkering and other illegal maritime crimes, troops of the Nigerian Navy under Operation Delta Safe have immobilized 6 illegal refinery sites in the South – South Zone of the country and arrested 24 suspects.
Also, 11 wooden boats, 52 Gee Pee tanks, 102 metal tanks, 17 dugout pits, 45 ovens were immobilized while 14 pumping machines, 2 speed boats and 13 outboard engines were seized.
Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche who made the disclosure in Abuja at a briefing on operations, stated that a total of 9,856.1 barrels of stolen crude oil and 1,339,000 litres of illegally refined AGO as well as 500,000 litres of DPK were recovered.
He said, “Equally, on 14 January 2021, Nigerian Navy Ship Delta anti-crude oil team in conjunction with Forward Operating Base ESCRAVOS conducted anti illegal bunkering operations.
“During the operations, the team de-activated illegally refining site at Egwa Creek, Warri South West LGA.
“The illegally refining site had 7 refining units (ovens), 16 metal storage tanks, 84,000 litres and 105,000 litres of products suspected to be illegally refined AGO and stolen crude oil respectively”.
In the North – West Zone, Enenche said, “Troops of Operation Hadarin Daji, on 17 January 2021 following credible intelligence on movement of armed bandits with rustled animals at Bungudu LGA of Zamfara State, responded immediately and made contact with bandits.
“In the course of the encounter, 30 armed bandits were neutralized while 24 cows and unspecified number of sheep were recovered.
“Similarly, still on same 17 January 21, troops deployed at Maradun received information of reprisal attack by armed bandits at Janbako village in Maradun LGA of Zamfara State.
“Troops swiftly mobilized to the area to forestall the reprisal attack, but they were ambushed short of Janbako village where firefight ensued.
“The gallant troops overwhelmed the bandits and neutralised 5 of them.
”In another development, following actionable intelligence, 2 suspected bandits’ collaborators named Mustapha Sani and Murtala Sani were arrested at Dungun Muazu village in Sabuwa LGAof Katsina State. Suspects are in custody for further action.
“The gallant troops have not relented as they continue to dominate the North West theatre of operation with aggressive fighting and aerial patrols to deny the criminal elements freedom of action.
“In the North – East Zone, between 14 and 20 January 2021, troops of the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies conducted several ground and air operations with renewed vigor which further degraded the capabilities of the terrorists and denied them freedom of action within the theatre of operation.
“In the period under focus, troops of subsidiary Operation Tura Takaibango in conjunction with the Air Task Force of Operation Lafiya Dole destroyed 7 BHT/ISWAP terrorists’ gun trucks and decimated several unconfirmed number of the terrorists’ sects in an operation.
“This occurred when the criminal elements attempted to attack troops’ location at the outskirt of Marte Town of Borno State in which, the combined troops engaged and overwhelmed the terrorists with superior firepower.
“After successfully repelling the BHT/ISWAP attack on Marte that led to the destruction of the 7 gun trucks in the combined ground and air operation, the Air Task Force also obliterated additional 6 gun trucks of the terrorists and eliminated scores of them in an attack on 16 January 2021.
“These feats were achieved when the Nigerian Air Force helicopter gunships engaged and destroyed the terrorists’ convoy of gun trucks, sighted approaching the Marte axis for reinforcement.
“The helicopter gunships also strafed the fleeing criminal elements and scores of them were neutralized.
” In the North Central zone, troops of Operation Safe Haven, notably, on 16 January 2021, on stop and search duty arrested 2 suspects; Messrs Mantau Nabo and Victor Jonathan with one locally fabricated AK-47 rifle and one empty magazine concealed in a Tricycle otherwise known as “Keke Napep”.
“The suspects attempted to sneak the items past at a check point at Dong Junction in Bassa LGA of Plateau State on their way from Jebbu Miango enroute Jos Town.
“Suspects have been profiled and have been handed over to the appropriate authorities for further action.
“Relatedly, troops of Operation Safe Haven on Stop and Search patrol at Mariri arrested one Stephen Yaro, from Kigwanu village in Kauru LGA of Kaduna State.
“The suspect was arrested with a locally made rifle concealed under his motorcycle seat. The suspect is presently undergoing preliminary investigation for further action.
“In same vein, troops of Sector 3 deployed at Mararaba Udege in conjunction with troops of 177 Battalion in Nasarawa LGA of Nasarawa State on 15 January 2021, received information about a suspected kidnapper in a hideout at Hawa Biyu moving to unknown location.
“Troops swiftly moved and laid ambush along the route which led to the arrest of the suspect currently undergoing investigation.
“The Military High Command encourages the troops and personnel of other security agencies to remain unwavering and sustain the tempo in all the Joint Operations Areas.
“The High Command also reassures the general public of its determination and dedication towards securing the country.
“Members of the general public are enjoined to continue providing timely information on the activities of criminals in their various localities to the military and other security agencies for prompt and effective action.”
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