24 November 2013

Nigeria: Military Shuts 59 Illegal Refineries, Seizes 4 Vessels in Niger Delta‬ - Spokesperson

Photo: Premium Times
Oil theft

‪The Joint Task Force (JTF) in the Niger Delta, operation Pulo Shield, on Sunday announced it has dismantled a militant camp in Bakassi Local Government Area of Cross River.

The force said it also destroyed 59 illegal refineries, seized 4 vessels, and arrested 7 suspects.‬

‪A statement from the JTF's Media Coordinator, Onyema Nwachukwu, said several arms were recovered from the camp.‬

‪"During the clamp down, the troops recovered 24 x 7.62mm round cartons, 5 Browning Machine Gun ammunitions, 3 x 7.62mm round special and 7 live cartridges. Other items recovered from the camp include, 4 Machine Gun belts and 1 passport fibre boat belonging to Inland Water Ways Agency," the JTF stated in the statement made available to PREMIUM TIMES.

‪According to Mr. Nwachukwu, the camp, known in local parlance at 'Efut Esighi' militant camp, served as an operational base for pirates and militants.

The task force also said its operatives destroyed three illegal crude oil distillation camps concealed in a forest at Agbede Village and Egwua 2 general area of Esako West and Warri South West Local Government Areas of Edo and Delta States respectively.‬ Both states are neighbouring states and share borders.

‪The task force listed items used by the oil pirates to include seven steel surface tanks, seven locally fabricated ovens used for heating stolen crude oil, 235 metal drums, and four dug out pits containing stolen crude oil. All the items were destroyed during the operation.‬

‪In a similar operation carried out in Bayelsa and Rivers sectors of JTF, troops shut down 56 illegal crude oil distillation camps, the spokesperson said.

‪The troops destroyed 16 Cotonou boats, 22 pumping machines, 1 power generator, 25 Zinc plates used for fabricating local crude oil distillers, 1 welding machine, and 32 sawed pipes used by oil thieves.‬

‪The troops also impounded 4 metal barges and a speed boat caught engaging in illegal oil bunkering activities in the operation which took place from November 11 to 22..‬

Mr. ‪Nwachukwu further stated that seven suspects were arrested for oil theft related offences and are currently undergoing preliminary investigations before they will.

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