Nigerian troops of Operation Delta Safe have in three weeks discovered and destroyed 57 illegal refining sites and apprehended 21 oil thieves in Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers States.
The Director, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. Musa Danmadami, made this known while giving update of military operations, on Thursday in Abuja.
Danmadami said the troops also destroyed 953 cooking ovens, 68 wooden boats, 172 storage tanks and 149 dugout pits within the period.
He said the troops in the conduct of Operation Octopus Grip also recovered 445,000 litres of crude oil, 1.04 million litres of Automotive Gas Oil, 22,000 litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) and 2,000 litres of Dual Purpose Kerosine.
According to him, eight tankers, 63 vehicles, two speed boats, one thug boat, 14 motorcycles, one tricycle, three bicycles, 11 pumping machines and three outboard engines were apprehended.
He added that 21 oil thieves and pipeline vandals were also apprehended within the period under review.
“Cumulatively within the weeks in focus, oil thieves were denied a total of N713.6 million in the region.
“The large quantity of illegal crude oil and other petroleum products recovered and destroyed and the number of arrested oil thieves and pipeline vandals, shows the unrelenting efforts by the troops of Operation Delta Safe in denying them freedom of action,” he said.
In the South West, he said the troops of Operation AWATSE in the conduct of Operation Swift Response recovered 1,680 (50kg) bags of foreign rice, 997 jerrycans of 30 litres of PMS, one truck, two golf cars, bales of used clothing, among other items.
Danmadami said that the troops also arrested two criminal elements during the operation.
He said that all recovered items had been handed over to the Nigeria Custom Services while the arrested criminals were handed over to the relevant authority for further action.
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