……..Seize 950,000ltrs of stolen crude oil
………Find 637, 500ltrs of illegally refined oil

By Chibisi Ohakah, Abuja

Nigerian troops, code-named, ‘Operation Delta Safe,’ whose security activities cover mostly the Niger Delta region of the country, have discovered and immobilized a total of 39 illegal refining sites in the region.

Also dislodged during a surprise raid lasting two weeks include 91 cooking ovens, 24 reservoirs, 17 large dugout pits and 96 storage tanks in the region. A total of 637,500 liters of illegally refined automotive gas oil; and 950,000 liters of stolen crude oil were reportedly recovered during the operations.

The operations were conducted at different locations in villages, creeks and towns in Emohua, Ikwere, Port Harcourt and Ahoada local government areas of rivers state. Also ransacked were villages, towns and creeks in; Warri South, Warri South-West and Warri North local government areas of Delta state as well as in Ekeremor, Brass and Southern Ijaw local government areas of Bayelsa state.

Briefing newsmen in development yesterday, the Nigerian Army acting director, defence media operations, Major General Bernard Onyeuko revealed that in addition, 10 suspected believed to be associated with pipeline vandalism, piracy, illegal oil bunkering and armed robbery were arrested.

“Troops recovered three assorted arms, 48 rounds of different caliber of ammunition, two AK-47 rifle magazines as well as 17 pieces of galvanized pipes and 23 wooden boats among other items used for illegal oil bunkering activities in the course of the operations,” the Army spokesman said.

According to him, all the arrested criminals and recovered items have been handed over to relevant security agencies for further action.

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