Troops destroy N277.3million illegally refined petroleum products, neutralize 42 terrorists,
Military high command has upscaled the war against oil theft and other criminal in the Niger Delta region as troops of Joint Task Force Operation DELTA SAFE and other operations in the region have denied oil thieves the total sum of N277,357,800.00.
This followed the discovery and destruction of 107 illegal refining sites, 140 storage tanks, 58 reservoirs, 151 ovens, 68 dugout pits and 22 wooden boats during patrols, raids and clearance operations conducted at the creeks, waterways, high sea, towns and cities of Bayelsa, Delta, Rivers, Cross River and Akwa Ibom States in the past two weeks.
Director, Defence Media Operations (DMO), Major General Musa Danmadami, who made the disclosure in Abuja on Thursday, said that during the operations, troops also recovered 561,200 litres of crude oil, 119,000 litres of Automotive Gas Oil, 1 fibre boat, 5 pumping machines, 2 outboard engines, 10 new geepee tanks, 1 tricycle and 6 vehicles while a total of 9 suspected criminals were apprehended.
The Director briefed the media on operational activities of the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies conducted in addressing the various security challenges across the country from March 9 to March 23, 2023.
Major-General Danmadami, also disclosed that during the period, a total of 42 Boko Haram/Islamic States of West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists and their collaborators, bandits and other criminal elements, were neutralized while 85 others were arrested.
In addition, he said, a total of 48 AK47 rifles and the cash sum of N4,247,740.000 were recovered from the criminal elements from different parts of the country, just as 130 abducted civilians and kidnapped victims were rescued.
Highlighting the major operations conducted across the six geo-political zones within the weeks, Danmadami said troops in the North East zone recovered 16 AK47 rifles, 1 x 60mm mortar bomb, 10 dane guns, 12 dummy rifles, 1 pump action gun, 1 PKT gun, 280 rounds of 7.62mm special, 118 rounds of 7.62 x 50mm NATO, 13 rounds of 5.56mm ammo, 10 rounds of 7.62 x 54mm NATO ammo, 1 round of 12.7mm NATO, 17 AK47 magazines, 1 firing pin, 1 mechanic tools box, 2 knives, 6 motorcycles, 24 mobile phones, 41 live stocks, assorted food items, 1 vehicle, 4 sim and other sundry items as well as the cash sum of N2,234,820.00 only.
“Troops neutralized 13 Boko Haram/Islamic State of West Africa Province terrorists, arrested 6 logistics suppliers and rescued 119 abducted civilians, while a total of 1,506 Boko Haram/Islamic State of West Africa Province terrorists and members of their families comprising 154 adult males, 514 adult females and 838 children surrendered to own troops at different location within the theatre of operation,” he said.
From the North-Central zone, he said that cummulatively, troops recovered 6 AK47 rifles, 2 pistols, 6 dane guns, 2 pump action guns, 2 AK47 magazines, 5 rounds of 9mm ammunition, 628 rounds of 7.62mm special, 1 cartridge, 18 cutlasses, 2 machetes, 1 pumping machine, 6 tyres, 31 used headsets, 2 boxes of alkaline battery, 2 exhaust pipes, 2 jerricans of Premium Motor Spirit, bunch of keys, and 3 ID cards among other items.
“Troops neutralized 8 bandits and arrested 28 criminals. Troops also rescued 5 kidnapped civilians and recovered the sum of N2,000,000.00 meant for ransom. All recovered items, arrested suspects, and rescued civilians have been handed over to relevant authority for further action,” he added.
According to him, within the period under review, troops in the North West zone recovered 14 AK47 rifles, 1 PKT MG, 1 RPG 7 tube, 15 AK47 magazine, 7 pump action guns, 139 rounds of 7.62 x 54mm link ammunition, 218 rounds of 7.62mm special, 47 rounds of PKT ammunition, 9 smoke canister, 4 locally made IEDs, 1 40mm HEAP ammunition, 2 locally made cartridges, 12 mobile phones, 8 motorcycles, packets of detergents, hard drugs, assorted food items and the sum of N9,670.00.
They equally neutralized 14 terrorists, arrested 12 terrorists logistics supplier and rescued 16 abducted civilians, Islamic State of West Africa Province terrorists,” he added.
On the military operations in the South East Zone, the Director said: “within the weeks in review, troops recovered 5 AK47 rifle, 29 pump action guns, 3 dane guns, 4 locally made pistol, 1 double barrel gun, 2 rounds of 9mm ammunition, 188 rounds of 7.62mm special, 46 empty cases of ammunition, 7 live cartridges, 3 magazines, 4 boafeng radios, 16 machetes, 3 knives, 14 motorcycles, 1 vehicle, 5 mobile phones and several pairs of Indigenous People of Biafra/Eastern Security Network uniforms and boots.
“Troops also neutralized 7 criminals and arrested 32 Indigenous People of Biafra/Eastern Security Network criminals.”
He further disclosed that troops of Operation AWATSE in the South West region of the country continued to clamp down on the activities of criminal elements within the general area of operations.
“Notably, on 10 March 2023, troops in conjunction with National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), raided Awuyaya and General paints at Ajah general area in Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State and during the operation, troops arrested 14 suspected criminals and recovered 5kg cannabis, 7kg illicits drugs, 7 bottles of codeine, 6g of tramadol, 5g of methamphetamine and the sum of N3,250.00.