Troops kill suspected militant, nab 13 oil thieves in multiple raids in Niger Delta
Posted by News Express | 13 October 2016 | 1,781 times
The joint military force deployed to the Niger Delta to protect oil facilities on Thursday said it has arrested 13 oil theft suspects and killed a suspected militant in a gun duel while equally freeing a captive from pirates in multiple operations in the Niger Delta region.
This is contained in a statement issued by Lt.-Cdr. Thomas Otuji, Spokesman of the military force Operation Delta Safe made available to newsmen in Yenagoa, capital of Bayelsa State.
The statement said the operations were carried out within the past seven days across the troubled region.
In one of the operations, troops arrived the militants’ hideouts following a tip-off and engaged the suspected militants in a gun battle.
According to the statement, “One criminal was killed and two suspects arrested.
“Items recovered include one AK 47 rifle and a magazine loaded with 20 rounds of 7.62 millimeter special ammunition.
“In another development, troops of Operation Delta Safe deployed to Southern Akwa Ibom also received distress calls from the public of illegalities along Quo Iboe Terminal Jetty waterside in Ibeno community.
“Troops swung into action cordoned the Area up to Oron waterside and encountered suspected oil thieves were engaging in illegal refining activities.
“Some of the criminals absconded on sighting our troops; however, 13 oil thieves were apprehended.”
Otuji disclosed that the suspects are in custody of Nigerian Navy Ship JUBILEE in Ikot Abasi for further investigation. He said Items recovered from the oil thieves include three wooden Cotonouboats, 180 units of 200 litres capacity drums filled with illegally refined petroleum products and one locally made pistol.
“Also, sequel to a distress call received by troops in Bayelsa indicating sea pirates were terrorising innocent citizens at Ogubene creeks, troops deployed at Kulama oil rig immediately trailed the pirates to the location,” Otuji stated.
He added that “the pirates fled on sighting gunboats from distance, troops however rescued one Mr Dokubo Charles who confirmed pirates absconded with his 25 Horse Power engine mounted on a wooden boat. The pirates are being trailed for possible apprehension.”
Otuji said that in another development troops discovered and seized two large metal barges at Adokiri around Okrika axis used by oil thieves. The barges contained about 500,000 litres of petroleum products suspected to be crude oil, he said.
Meanwhile, troops while on surveillance patrol of Chevron pipeline at Sagbama Creek in Warri West Local Government discovered an illegal pipeline buried under ground by suspected vandals.
“The pipes were neatly connected to wellheads with a recoiling wire. The pipes and recoiling wires were detached and destroyed,” Otuji stated.
He also stated that the Air Component of Operation DELTA SAFE during a reconnaissance patrol of Joint Operations Area at Onne near the Federal Lighter Terminal, Onne Port in Rivers State sighted large barges of 15,000 litres capacity, camouflaged with green grass to prevent detection.
Ground troops of Sector 3 were notified and the barges confiscated.
The barges are presently berthed at own location in Onne for necessary investigations.
Also, “on 8 October 2016, troops raided illegal oil refinery at Bennet Island, Asugbo in Warri South local Government Area. It was observed that the economic saboteurs connected long host to wellheads spanning some kilometres to the camp where they siphoned crude oil into storage tanks,” Otuji stated.
The joint force applauded the support of the Niger Delta communities in the ongoing efforts to rid the region of criminals and restore peace to the region and urged them to sustain the efforts.
•Photo shows troops on security duty in the Niger Delta.