06 February 2012, Sweetcrude, UGHELLI—THE Joint Military Taskforce (JTF) in the Niger Delta, weekend, paraded 13 suspected oil bunkerers, pipeline vandals and two suspected kidnappers at the Army barracks, Effurun, Delta State.
JTF also confiscated nine wooden boats carrying one big steel tank, 101 GeePee tanks of various sizes, eight steel drums, 12 hoses and 11 jerry-cans suspected to be used for oil bunkering on the River Niger.
Spokesman of the JTF, Col Timothy Antigha, who led newsmen to Asemuku village in Ndokwa East Local Government Area of the state, where the items were seized, said no arrest was made at the time of seizure.
Antigha said the seized items were kept at the Asemuku jetty and Sterling Global company’s jetty in the community for safe keeping, but would be destroyed on a later date, adding: “The items could not be destroyed today (weekend) to avoid polluting the water.
“You can see the villagers bathing and washing clothes in the river. We don’t want to carry out the destruction here because of the hazards and potential environmental degradation and destruction of the ecosystem it may cause. We will take them to a safer place where they could be destroyed and we will duly communicate the date to you (newsmen).”
The JTF spokesman, who later led newsmen to the Army barracks, Effurun, where the 15 suspects were paraded, said 13 of the 15 suspects were arrested at Ogbe Ijaw and Chanomy creeks in Warri North and South Local Government Areas of the state for offences ranging from illegal bunkering, illegal refining of petroleum products and vandalism of oil pipelines.