Abuja — THE military has arrested a total of 49 suspects during operations against violent and economic crimes south of Nigeria. Troops also assisted the return of 176 people, among them women and children who had been displaced from their homes, during conflicts. Culprits have been detained for various offences ranging from cultism related activities, illegal oil bunkering, illegal possession of arms, narcotic activities, financing criminalities and kidnapping among others. The army is cracking down on a exercise codenamed Operation Crocodile Smile II. "All arrested suspects and exhibits were handed over to relevant security agencies for possible prosecution," Colonel Aminu Iliyasu, the Nigerian ArmyDeputy Head of Public Relations, said. During the exercise, a total of 46 illegal oil bunkering camps were discovered across Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa and Rivers States. Iliyasu attributed the success of the operations to information provided by members of the public. He said the operation had achieved its main objectives. "The exercise has been adjudged as one of the most successful military exercises conducted by the Nigerian Army in recent times," Iliyasu said. Nigeria, Africa's most populous country of some 190 million people, is characterised by a plethora of criminal gangs. The worst crisis is the Boko Haram insurgency that has claimed an estimated 100 000 civilians northeast of the country. Over 2 million are displaced. - CAJ News
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