Troops destroy 50 illegal oil refining sites, apprehend 51 suspects – DHQ

The Defence Headquarters says troops of Operation Delta Safe have in the last one week destroyed 50 illegal oil refining sites in the Niger Delta region and arrested 51 suspects.

The Director, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. Edward Buba made this known on Thursday in Abuja while briefing newsmen on the operations of the military.

Buba said the troops also eliminated four criminals and recovered arms and ammunition.

He added that a total of 578,900 litres of stolen crude oil, 454,330 litres of illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil and 10,000 litres of Dual Purpose Kerosene were recovered during the operations.

According to him, troops also destroyed 245 dugout pits, 31 boats, 69 storage tanks, one tricycle, 23 vehicles, 162 cooking ovens, one pumping machine and three outboard engine.

He further disclosed that the troops neutralised a notorious criminal and recovered one locally made pistol on Nov. 14, in Akpabuyo Local Government Area of Cross River State.

“On Nov. 15, troops with hybrid forces raided suspected drugs peddlers’ hideout in Isoko North Local Government Area of Delta and arrested six suspects.

“The maritime component of Operation Delta Safe on Nov. 17, conducted search and rescue operation following a distress call on a missing Cameroonian-flagged motor Fishing Vessel MFV AFKI with registration number UK12 and number AFKI 8432780.

“After frantic surveillance, maritime component traced and made contact with the vessel 17 nautical miles off Pennington terminal.

“The vessel was recovered with two foreign crew members onboard,” he said.

In the South East, Buba said the troops of Operation UDOKA neutralised six criminals, apprehended 14 suspected IPOB/ESN elements and rescued two kidnapped hostages.

He added that the troops also recovered a pump action gun, one double barrel gun, one locally made pistol, six rounds of 9mm ammo, a motorcycle and two mobile phones, among other items.

According to him, all recovered items, arrested suspects and rescued hostages were handed over to relevant authorities for further action. (NAN)