A file photo of soldiers.
Troops of Operation Delta Safe have in the last two weeks deactivated 39 illegal refineries within the Niger Delta region.
This is according to a briefing by the Directorate of Defence Media Operations.
The troops are said to have continued to sustain their operational tempo in the fight against illegal oil production and other sundry crimes through kinetic and non-kinetic means in the South-South Zone.
In the military’s communique, the Defence Head Quarters disclosed that troops’ land, maritime and air operations within the past 2 weeks yielded appreciable results and forestalled activities of vandals as well as other economic saboteurs in the oil-rich Niger Delta region.
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According to the authorities, the operations were executed at different locations in villages, creeks and towns in Emohua, Ikwere, Port Harcourt and Ahoada LGAs of Rivers State.
Other locations include villages, towns and creeks in; Warri South, Warri South-West and Warri North LGAs of Delta State as well as in Ekeremor, Brass and Southern Ijaw LGAs of Bayelsa State.
Also, operations were conducted at Opobo creek and some communities in Mbo LGA of Akwa Ibom States well as Ukwa West LGA of Abia State, which yielded significant results within the period under review.
Consequently, in the last 2 weeks, the troops discovered and immobilized a total of 39 illegal refining sites,91 cooking ovens,24 reservoirs, 17 large dugout pits and 96 storage tanks.
Also, a total of 637,500 litres of illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil; 950,000 litres of stolen crude oil were recovered in the course of the operations.
In addition, 10 criminals associated with pipeline vandalism, piracy, illegal oil bunkering and armed robbery were arrested within the period.
Furthermore, troops recovered 3 assorted arms, 48 rounds of different calibre of ammunition, 2 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.
All the arrested criminals and recovered items have been handed over to relevant security agencies for further action.
The Defence Headquarters assured Nigerians that the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies across the country have and will continue to maintain their stand in the efforts to deny criminal elements freedom of action.
The Military High Command appreciated the troops for their sacrifices in the various theatres of operation and commends their courage and resilience in combating the security challenges across the Country.
Also appreciated was the general public for the cooperation given to the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies in the course of their operations.
The military urged all Nigerians to keep cooperating and remain supportive by availing security forces with credible and timely information that will aid their proactive operational engagements in the country.