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Military Stops N1.86bn Oil Theft In Niger Delta, Shuts Down 105 Illegal Refining Sites in One Week 

Military operations in the Niger Delta have led to recovery of N1.86bn in stolen crude, arrest of 55 oil thieves.

Director Defence Media Operations, Maj. Gen Edward Buba

The Defence Headquarters (DHQ), on Thursday, said that its troops deployed to Joint Task Force, South South, Operation Delta Safe, denied the oil thieves of an estimated sum of One Billion, Eight Hundred and Sixty Million, One Hundred and Fifty One Thousand Seven Hundred Naira, in the Niger Delta, in one week.

The DHQ, also disclosed that the troops recovered 1,099,860 litres of stolen crude oil, 1,101,700 litres of illegally refined AGO, 27350 litres of DPK and 150 litres of PMS. 

A statement signed by Director Defence Media Operations, Maj. Gen Edward Buba, said that no fewer than 105 illegal refining sites were also discovered and deactivated within the period under scrutiny. 

Noting that troops also arrested 55 perpetrators of oil theft, and rescued 202 kidnapped hostages, Buba said that troops deployed to Operations Hardin Kai, Hadarin Daji, and Safe Haven, killed no fewer than 220 terrorists and arrested 395 others. 

“Furthermore, troops recovered 432 assorted weapons and 9,004 assorted ammunition. The breakdown are as follows: three PKT guns, one G3 rifle, 83 AK47 rifles, 18 locally fabricated gun, 16 dane guns, two pump action guns, two double barrel guns, two single barrel guns, eight locally fabricated pistols, two revolver rifles, one hand grenades, 14 RPG bombs, one RPG launcher, two tear gas launchers, 234 smoke grenades and one bandolier. Others are: 5,893 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 2,064 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, 401 rounds of 9mm ammo, 200 rounds of 7.62 x 54mm, 154 rounds of 7.62 x 51mm, 195 live cartridges, 17 magazines, three baofeng radios, eight  vehicles, 32 motorcycles, 59 mobile phones and the sum of N813,550.00 only amongst other items,” he said.

Troops in the Niger Delta area, he said, discovered and destroyed 51 dugout pits, 38 boats and 51 storage tanks. 

Other items recovered, Buba said, include 215 cooking ovens, two speedboats, 44 drums, three tug boats, three barges, four wheelbarrows, one outboard engine, 15 vehicles, three motorcycles, six mobile phones and 105 illegal refining sites. 

The Director also revealed that the military has adjusted its operational strategy to prioritise protection for farmers to ensure a successful rainy season farming. 

He noted that the armed forces have intensified intelligence collection efforts targeted at hunting terrorists and striking them where they may be hiding and hibernating. The aim, he said, is to kill these terrorists and the infrastructure that supports them.

Assuring that troops will continue to employ significant firepower to neutralise terrorists and disrupt their activities across the country, Buba asserted that winning the war against the terrorists is non negotiable.

Ikechukwu Aleke

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