The Nigerian military has successfully destroyed some illegal refineries and recovered stolen crude oil in the Niger Delta region, according to the Defence Headquarters in a statement signed by the Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen John Enenche.

Gen. Enenche said the military officers involved in the operation have intensified their aggressive fight against crude oil theft, pipeline vandalism, bunkering, economic saboteurs and other criminal activities in the country.

Gen. Enenche, while giving a weekly update on the operations of Armed Forces of Nigeria on Friday in Abuja, said that between September 12 and 17, the military arrested seven suspected oil thieves, discovered barrels of stolen crude oil and destroyed numbers of illegal refineries in the South-South and South West zones.

According to him, within the period under review, Nigerian Navy Ship PATHFINDER patrol team in the South-South located and immobilised an illegal refining site at Mudukiri Creek, Degema local government area of Rivers State.

“The site had a metal reservoir laden with an estimated 150,000 litres of illegally refined AGO. In the same vein, Forward Operating Base BONNY patrol team discovered and dismantled an illegal refining site in Ataba, Andoni LGA of Rivers State.

The team discovered eight metal storage tanks and four dugout pits laden with about 1,289.45 barrels of product suspected to be stolen crude oil,” Gen. Enenche said.

He added that Nigerian Navy Ship JUBILEE clearance operation team, acting on credible intelligence on a suspected pirates and sea robber’s camp at Otoyo, Akwa Ibom State, raided the camp with ‘superior power and dislodged and deactivated the camp in the area’.

“The team recovered one AK 47 rifle with two magazines, two Pump Action Rifles, 20 rounds of 7.62 and 39mm ammunition, one Fishing Gun, one Tecno phone, a bag of hard drugs, one diving face mask and one hand held metal detector.

Between September 12 and 17, Forward Operating Base IBAKA patrol team around Utan Inyata Creek arrested two suspects and two small-sized wooden boats laden with 165 bags of 50kg of foreign parboiled rice suspected to be smuggled from the Republic of Cameroon,” he said.

According to him, the items and suspects are currently in custody of the Base and will be handed over to Nigeria Customs Service Component of Operation SWIFT RESPONSE for further action.

“Also, within the period under review, Forward Operating Base IBAKA patrol team arrested five suspects with 45 drums of products suspected to be Premium Motor Spirit (PMS). The suspects and items are currently in custody and will be handed over to NSCDC, Uyo Command, for further necessary action,” he said.

He explained that Troops of Operation AWATSE in the South West zone also intensified the fight against pipeline vandals, economic saboteurs and other criminal elements in the area.

According to him, on September 11, Nigerian Navy Ship BEECROFT handed over MT SEA SUPPLY and her crew to NIMASA after proper documentation in line with the existing Standard Operating Procedure.

He recalled that the vessel and her crew members were arrested on July 31 for sailing without obtaining requisite documents.

“On September 12, the patrol team of Forward Operating Base IGBOKODA immobilized three illegal refineries containing 30,000 litres of illegally refined AGO at Agbelemsema Zion 2. The location is a border community between Ese Odo local government area of Ondo State and Warri North LGA in Delta State.

Troops have continued to dominate the general area with clearance and aggressive patrols while maintaining surveillance to rid the area of pipeline vandals and other economic saboteurs.

Members of the general public are hereby assured that the Armed Forces of Nigeria, working with other security agencies, will continue to tackle the security challenges and will ensure that normalcy is attained in all the geo-political zones of the country,” Gen. Enenche concluded.