03 July 2014, Yenagoa – Operatives of the Joint Task Force, JTF, in the Niger Delta, code named Operation Pulo Shield, have shut down 40 illegal refinery camps in the creek of Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
The council, which is one of the biggest in the country, is regarded as the hub of illegal crude oil distilling business in the region.
The Coordinator, Joint Media Campaign Centre, JTF, Lieutenant Colonel Mustapha Anka, yesterday in Yenagoa, said the camps were smoked out due to proactive intelligence gathering on the activities of the illegal oil bunkerers and oil thieves in Niger Delta.
He said: “Troops of JTF have shut down 40 illegal distillery camps along Alkini Kalatoro, Lagosbene and Epelene creeks in Southern Ijaw council of Bayelsa State, where oil thieves operates with 21 Cotonou boats, 78 dumps and 154 plastic drums filled with substance suspected to be stolen crude.
“Both the sites and the items were destroyed. No suspect was arrested during the operation. Troops had already been deployed in the general area.”
He added that troops of the Sector 1, anti-illegal bunkering squad of the special security intercepted and arrested four trucks loaded with products suspected to be illegally refined products and crude oil along Akpokoka Waterside in Koko, Warri North Local Government Area of Delta State.
According to him, the vehicles are currently in the custody of the JTF for preliminary investigation.