The Defence Headquarters says the military in its operations has intensified the fight against crude oil theft, pipeline vandalism and illegal oil bunkering in the South South zone with significant successes.
The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. John Enenche, who said this while giving the weekly updates on military operations across the country on Thursday in Abuja, said the efforts would be sustained.
Mr Enenche said that between Sept. 2 and Sept. 9, the military in its ongoing onslaught against sabotage of the nation’s economy, arrested smugglers and destroyed several illegal refineries.
“Within the period under review, Nigerian Navy Ship VICTORY patrol team intercepted and arrested a wooden boat with four Nigerian suspects, laden with 1,482 bags of foreign parboiled rice.
“They were arrested around Tom Shot Island Breakwaters by Agbana-West along Calabar Channel.
“The bags of rice were smuggled from Dimbola Fishing Port in Limbe in the Republic of Cameroun and destined for Oron in Akwa Ibom,” he said
He said that Nigerian Navy Ship DELTA patrol team also located a dugout pit with about 1,257.96 barrels of product suspected to be stolen crude oil at Ogbodede Creek in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta.
“Also, the team discovered an oven laden with about 18.86 barrels of crude and 5,000 litres of illegally refined AGO. The dugout pit and oven with the products were dismantled.
“Similarly, Forward Operating Base BONNY patrol team discovered an illegal refining site in Ataba, Andoni Local Government Area of Rivers,” he said.
According to him, the site has two metal storage tanks laden with about 301.91 barrels of product suspected to be stolen crude oil and one metal tank laden with about 34,000 litres of product suspected to be illegally refined AGO.
He said that the team also discovered five storage facilities made with tarpaulin inside the swamp laden with about 4,717.35 barrels of product suspected to be stolen crude oil.
“Similarly, two large wooden boats laden with about 1,069.26 barrels of product suspected to be stolen crude oil were discovered inside the creek. The storage facilities and wooden boats were dismantled.
“In the same vein, troops of 222 Battalion destroyed an illegal refining site at Eniabedi Community in Isoko North Local Government Area of Delta,’’ he said.
He said that troops of 16 Brigade Garrison, discovered and destroyed an illegal oil refinery, containing unspecified amount of illegally refined petroleum products at Abua in Abua/Odua Local Government Area of Rivers.
“Belatedly, troops of 146 Battalion on patrol intercepted one wooden boat laden with unspecified amount of stolen crude oil at Berger jetty at Bonny LGA Rivers,” he said.
While reiterating the commitment of the military to keep the nation’s economy safe, he enjoined the public to continue to provide timely and credible information to the troops.
The military high command congratulated all the gallant troops of the armed forces and personnel of other security agencies for the feats recorded in various operations across the country.
“Troops are further encouraged to remain dogged and sustain the tempo in all the Joint Operations Areas.
“The high command of the armed forces also reassures the general public of its unwavering commitment to securing the country for all human activities to thrive.
“Members of the general public are, as always, enjoined to continue providing timely information on the activities of criminals in their various localities to the nearest military and other security agencies’ locations for prompt and effective action,” he said.