Defence Headquarters says the troops of Operation Delta Safe have apprehended 17 oil thieves and dismantled several illegal refineries in the South-South zone in two weeks.
The Director, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. Musa Danmadami, said this at the bi-weekly news briefing on the operations of the armed forces on Thursday in Abuja.
Danmadami said the troops conducted patrol, raids, clearance and swamp buggy operations in the creeks, villages, communities and towns in Delta, Bayelsa and Rivers State.
He said the troops discovered and destroyed several illegal refining sites with 17 wooden boats, 103 storage tanks, 94 ovens and 58 dugout pits.
According to him, troops also recovered 10 trucks, one generator, one tanker, two vehicles and eight pumping machines.
“Trooper arrested 17 pipeline vandals while a total of 7,805 barrels of crude oil and 2,613 barrels of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) were recovered.
“In addition, a total of N134.6 million of AGO and N402.4 million were denied the oil thieves.
“Accordingly, an approximated value of product denied oil thieves within the period under review was N537.09 million,’’ he said.
Danmadami said the troops had between Sept. 9 and Sept. 13 arrested four suspected armed robbers at Okpokumu community in Delta and Iduodah community in Rivers.
“Items recovered from the suspects include two G3 rifles, one locally made pump action gun, one locally made pistol, three G3 magazine, three AK47 magazines, 280 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, 780 rounds of 7.62mm special, MMG metal links, two boafeng radios.
“Other items recovered are five pairs of military camouflages, six pairs of desert boots, some Nigerian currency notes and large quantities of items suspected to be hard drugs.
“The arrested suspects and items recovered have been handed over to the relevant authority for further action,” he said.