11 June 2014, Yenagoa – The Joint Military Task Force in the Niger Delta, Operation Pulo Shield, says it has destroyed illegal refineries in Bayelsa, Edo and Delta states, while also uncovering a cache of arms.
The Coordinator, Joint Media Campaign Centre of the outfit, Lt. Col. Mustapha Anka, said in a statement on Wednesday that the JTF troops also arrested some suspected kidnappers during their operations.
He said the troops on pipeline patrol at Ijomu, Ethiope East Local Government Area of Delta State uncovered the cache of arms in a bush.
He said the troops sighted three men with a sack in the bush and the men on sighting the operatives abandoned the sack.
Anka said when the troops ripped the sack open, they found arms and ammunition.
The spokesman said the arms recovered by the troops comprised two AK-47 rifles; two magazines loaded with 48 rounds of 7.62mm Ammunition Special, among others.
He said efforts were ongoing to apprehend the suspects.
He also said the troops, while on patrol discovered an illegal oil refinery at Egbokodo Itshekiri general area in Warri South-West LGA of the state.
According to him, the items recovered were three locally-made boats, one pumping machine and a water hose and they were destroyed immediately.
Also discovered, according to him were a speed boat and 16 Cotonou boats containing suspected stolen crude oil at Okpogbene Egwa general area in the same LGA.
Anka said, “Similarly, a house suspected to be used for storing illegally refined Automated Gas Oil at Oghareki waterside in Ethiope West LGA of Delta State was discovered by the troops.
“During the operation, the troops arrested one Mr. Daniel Marvellous with 4 x 501 jerrycans filled with suspected illegally refined AGO. The JTF also accosted a white tanker with number plate XC 171 AJI which was filled with suspected illegally refined AGO along Patani – Warri East West Road.
“The truck was used to illegally siphon crude oil from NPDC pipelines at Oghara – Iyede in Isoko North LGA of Delta. However no arrest was made as the driver abandoned the truck on sighting troops.”
In Bayelsa State, Anka said the JTF troops carried out cordon-and-search operation at Otuogbene community, Southern Ijaw LGA of the state.
He added that in the operation, a total of 92 pumping machines, three speed boats, five canoes, 15 hoses, 15 tarpaulins, two saw machines, five welding machines coils, three welding electrodes, 100 jerrycans containing illegally refined AGO were discovered and scuttled immediately.
The spokesman also said the outfit following a tip off, raided an illegal oil refinery at Egbokodo in Warri South LG of Delta.
He said the items recovered were five Cotonou boats, 17 Geepee tanks, 153 drums filled with suspected illegally refined AGO and stolen crude oil as well as other illegal oil bunkering items such as three valves insertion points connected with hoses by the suspected oil thieves.
“The JTF also discovered an abandoned fuel tanker with registration number XM 784 FST loaded with suspected stolen crude oil around Redeemed Christian Church of God, off Sapele Road, Benin City. The driver escaped on sighting the JTF troops,” Anka said.
He said during the period, the JTF troops also discovered six illegal refineries at Agbede and Aviele in Estsako LGA of Edo State.
He said JTF troops responsible for the protection of the Nigeria National Petroleum Company pipelines, in conjunction with NNPC staff at Abudu, uncovered two trucks filled with illegally refined products at Oben community area of the state.
The trucks were also destroyed instantly, according to Anka.
He said the JTF also in conjunction with Agbara-Oto Vigilante Group arrested three suspected kidnappers namely, Messrs Godspower Segun, Samuel Sunday at Omavovwe Agbarho community in Ughelli North LGA of Delta state.
Anka, who said an unregistered Nissan salon car was recovered from the suspects, added that the suspects and vehicle were handed over to the police at Agbarho Oto for prosecution.
– The Punch