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Friday, September 29, 2023

Military destroys 80 illegal refineries, nabs 27 vandals

The Defence Headquarters says the troops of Operation Delta Safe in the conduct of Operation Octopus Grip, destroyed 80 illegal refining sitesin the South-South zone in the last two weeks.

Niger Delta refinery
Illegal refining activities in the Niger Delta

The Director, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. Bernard Onyeuko, made this known at the Bi-Weekly news conference on military operations on Thursday, July 28, 2022, in Abuja.

Onyeuko said the operation also led to the discovery and destruction 60 wooden boats, 316 storage tanks, 262 ovens and 87 dugout pits.

He said that the available statistics had shown a significant loss of revenue to the economy of the country with street value of about N2.5 billion.

Onyeuko said that the military operations were conducted in Madangho, Kokoye and Jones creek in Delta State, as well as Obi Sagbama village and Debu creek in Bayelsa.

According to him, troops also conducted patrols in Awoba, Cawthorne Channel, Boning Channel and Asaramatu in Rivers.

“Troops also recovered nine speed boats, 15 outboard engines, 19 pumping machines and 17 vehicles while 27 pipeline vandals were arrested.

“A total of 5.1 litres of substance suspected to be crude oil and 1.4 litres of illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil were recovered.

“All arrested economic saboteurs and recovered items were handed over to the appropriate authorities for further action.

The director, defence media operations, said also that troops of Operation AWATSE in the South-West zone intercepted and confiscated a total of 402 (50kg) bags of foreign rice and 193 litres of PMS in 30 gallons.

He also said that troops of Operation Safe Conduct arrested a suspected political thug at Osho-Egbedore village in Egbedore Local Government Area of Osun, within the period.

Onyeuko said that among items recovered from the suspect were one locally fabricated pistol, five cartridges and a mobile phone.

The defence media operations spokesman further said that troops also carried out a raid operation at Old Garage within Osogbo metropolis and arrested a notorious kidnapper terrorising the people of Osogbo alongside nine of his gang members.

“Items recovered include one pump action rifle, six cartridges amongst others and handed over same to the appropriate authority for further action,’’ he said.

By Sumaila Ogbaje

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