Troops destroy N277.3 million illegal refining facility, kill 42 terrorists, recover weapons
The military high command, yesterday, confirmed intensifying the war against oil theft and other criminal activities in the Niger Delta region, as troops of the Joint Task Force (JTF), Operation DELTA SAFE and other operations in the region have denied oil thieves the total sum of N277,357,800.
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, said during the operations, troops also recovered 561,200 litres of crude oil, 119,000 litres of Automotive Gas Oil, one fibre boat, five pumping machines, two outboard engines, 10 new Geepee tanks, one tricycle and six vehicles, while nine suspected criminals were apprehended.
The DMO briefed the media on operational activities of the Armed Forces and other security agencies conducted in addressing the various security challenges across the country from March 9 to March 23, 2023.
Danmadami also disclosed that during the period, 42 Boko Haram/Islamic States of West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists and their collaborators, bandits and other criminal elements were neutralised, while 85 others were arrested.
In addition, he said 48 AK47 rifles and sum of N4,247,740 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, the DMO said troops in the North East zone recovered 16 AK47 rifles, 1 x 60mm mortar bomb, 10 Dane guns, 12 dummy rifles, one pump action gun, one 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, one round of 12.7mm NATO, 17 AK47 magazines, one firing pin, one mechanic tools box, two knives, six motorcycles, 24 mobile phones, 41 livestock, assorted food items, one vehicle, four Sim cards and other sundry items, as well as a cash sum of N2,234,820.
Danmadami continued: “Troops neutralised 13 Boko Haram/Islamic State of West Africa Province terrorists, arrested six logistics suppliers and rescued 119 abducted civilians, while a total of 1,506 terrorists and members of their families, comprising 154 adult males, 514 adult females and 838 children, surrendered to own troops at different locations within the theatre of operation.”