THE Nigerian Defence Headquarters on Friday said the military has raised the bar in the fight against crude oil theft, pipeline vandalism, economic saboteurs and other criminal activities in the country.
A two-star general who also doubles as Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, John Enenche, in a Twitter post revealed that over the past week, the military had arrested seven alleged oil thieves and destroyed several illegal refineries in the South-South zone.
In his statement, the Nigerian Navy Ship PATHFINDER patrol team in Rivers State, located and immobilised an illegal refining site at Mudukiri Creek, Degema Local Government Area of Rivers.
“The site had a metal reservoir laden with an estimated 150,000 litres of illegally refined gas. In the same vein, Forward Operating Base BONNY patrol team discovered and dismantled an illegal refining site in Ataba, Andoni LGA of Rivers.
“The team discovered eight metal storage tanks and four dugout pits laden with about 1,289.45 barrels of product suspected to be stolen crude oil,” he said.
He said that Nigerian Navy Ship JUBILEE clearance operation team acting on credible intelligence on suspected pirates and sea robbers’ camp at Otoyo, Akwa-Ibom, raided the camp.
He said that the patrol team with superior power dislodged and deactivated the camp in the area. “The team recovered one AK 47 rifle with two magazines, two Pump Action Rifles, 20 rounds of 7.62 and 39mm ammunition, one Fishing Gun, one Tecno phone, a bag of hard drugs, one diving face mask and one handheld metal detector.
“Between Sept. 12 and Sept. 17, Forward Operating Base IBAKA patrol team around Utan Inyata Creek arrested two suspects and two small-sized wooden boats laden with 165 bags of 50kg of foreign parboiled rice suspected to be smuggled from the Republic of Cameroon,” he said.
According to him, the items and suspects are currently in the custody of the base and will be handed over to Nigeria Customs Service Component of Operation SWIFT RESPONSE for further action.
“Also, within the period under review, Forward Operating Base IBAKA patrol team arrested five suspects with 45 drums of products suspected to be Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).
“The suspects and items are currently in custody and will be handed over to NSCDC Uyo Command for further necessary action,” he said.
According to him, on Sept 11, Nigerian Navy Ship BEECROFT handed over MT SEA SUPPLY and her crew to NIMASA after proper documentation in line with the existing Standard Operating Procedure.
“Troops have continued to dominate the general area with clearance and aggressive patrols while maintaining surveillance to rid the area of pipeline vandals and other economic saboteurs,” he said.
He commended the gallant troops of the Armed Forces and personnel of other security agencies involved in various operations across the country for their commitment, determination and dedication.
“Members of the general public are hereby assured that the Armed Forces of Nigeria working with other security agencies will continue to tackle the security challenges and will ensure that normalcy is attained in all the geo-political zones of the Country.
He, therefore, solicited the support of the public in providing credible information to assist the military’s operations.