300 oil thieves arrested in Niger Delta – JTF

16 March 2012, Sweetcrude, WARRI – THE Joint Military Task Force in the Niger Delta (JTF) says it has arrested more than 300 oil thieves in the region in the last two months.

The suspected thieves were apprehended from the states that make up the Niger Delta, Lt Col. Timothy Antigha, the JTF spokesman disclosed.

Antigha said in Warri, Delta State, that the JTF, made up of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Police, State Security Service, National Civil Defence Corps and other paramilitary organisation, had been refocused to make it more efficient.

According to him, this has resulted in improved performance on the part of the body, leading to the arrest of the 300 oil thieves in the last two months.

He said the JTF was also able to destroy thousands of illegal refineries across the Niger Delta, besides seizing speed boats, generators, outboard engines, pumping machines and pumping valves employed by the criminals in their nefarious activities.

He warned that criminal activities would not be allowed in the area, adding that the recent arrest of those suspected to have killed some soldiers in Bayelsa was a signal in that regard.

In another development, Brig-Gen. Tukur Buratai, commander of Sector Two of the joint task force, said in Port Harcourt that the JTF has destroyed over 200 illegal refineries in Rivers and Bayelsa states.

“We have impounded a number of trailers, tankers and trucks used in perpetrating these nefarious activities. We have appropriately treated, processed the matter for prosecution,” he said.

According to Buratai, the JTF has intensified surveillance within the two states with a view to combating also activities of pirates threatening the peace of the coastal areas.

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