Nigerian military destroys 39 illegal refineries, apprehends oil thieves, vandals
Defence Headquarters (DHQ) says the troops of the Joint Task Force, Operation Delta Safe, have in the last two weeks destroyed 39 illegal oil refining sites in the South-south zone.
The Director, Defence Media Operations, Musa Danmadami, made this known at a bi-weekly news briefing on military operations on Thursday, in Abuja.
Mr Danmadami, a major general, said the troops in the conduct of Operation Octopus Grip and other operations destroyed 48 cooking ovens, 103 storage tanks, 27 dugout pits and 33 wooden boats during the period.
He said the troops also recovered one tug boat, a barge, three pumping machines, three-speed boats and 13 vehicles.
According to him, troops recovered 274,000 litres of crude oil, 71,000 litres of Automotive Gas Oil, and 15 Ak47 rifles, while 40 suspected economic saboteurs were arrested.
“All recovered items and apprehended suspects have been handed over to the appropriate authority for further action.
“Equally, the air component of the Operation Delta Safe conducted air interdiction to several illegal refining sites and creeks at Gogokiri Degema and Okrika Local Government Areas both in Rivers State between January 12 and January 24.
“Crew observed the sites to be active makeshift tents sighted as well as illegal refining activities been carried out.
“Targets were engaged with weapons and the locations were observed to have exploded in an inferno while the illegal refining equipment was also destroyed,” he said.
READ ALSO: Nigerian military deactivates over 70 illegal refineries in two weeks
In the South-east, the defence spokesperson said the military and other security agencies had sustained the offensive against the activities of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra/Eastern Security Network criminals in the zone.
He said the troops had neutralised six terrorists, arrested 24 and rescued 16 abducted civilians.
According to him, several calibres of arms and ammunition including AK47 rifles, pump action rifles, IEDs and locally made explosive pipes among other items were also recovered.
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