The Joint Task Force (JTF) in the Niger Delta region operating with the code name. “Operation Pulo Shield” have arrested 18 suspected oil thieves.
In a statement released yesterday by the Media Coordinator of the JTF, Lt-Col. Isa Ado, and seen by PM News, the JTF also revealed they destroyed 31 illegal oil refineries in multiple raids in the month of July.
JTF troops stationed at Iguododo community and Chanomi Escravos in Orhionmwon and Warri South West Local Government Areas of Edo and Delta discovered and destroyed 15 illegal refining camps.
The suspects reportedly operated with four Cotonou boats, seven plastic reservoirs, 34 drums, 21 surface tanks filled with illegally refined Automated Gas Oil.
Other items discovered and destroyed were 21 cooking ovens and eight pumping machines, even as the suspects fled on sighting the troops.
“The squad also arrested 16 suspects for other criminal offences ranging from kidnapping, armed robbery, sea piracy, cultism and pipeline vandalism.
“Items recovered from them include locally made gun with live rounds of ammunition and axe. The suspects are in custody of the JTF for preliminary investigation before handing them over to prosecuting agency,” the statement stated.
The JTF in conjunction with Southern Ijaw Oil and Gas Task Force destroyed 16 illegal bunkering sites along Obi creek, Gbenekrukru, Oloma and Ogbonga waterways of Bayelsa and Rivers, respectively.
The sites were destroyed along with metal tanks and Cotonou boats filled with stolen crude oil, but there were no arrest made as the operators fled on sighting the troops.
Meanwhile, elder statesman, Chief Edwin Clark has urged the President Muhammadu Buhari to take the Niger-Delta amnesty programme seriously as it has a way of affecting the nation.