By Celestine Ajayi
The Defence Headquarters says troops of Operation Delta Safe have dismantled several illegal refineries and impounded large quantities of stolen products in Rivers and Delta within two weeks.
The Coordinator, Defence Media Operation, Maj.-Gen. John Enenche, announced this while giving update on the military operations across the country on Wednesday in Abuja.
Enenche said that the Armed Forces of Nigeria in conjunction with other security agencies recorded huge successes while carrying out comprehensive anti-illegal refinery and anti-oil theft operations in the region between Dec. 2 and Dec. 15.
He said that the operations led to the discovery and dismantling of several illegal refineries and forestalling of other activities of economic saboteurs.
Enenche said that the troops of 103 Battalion had on Dec. 3, dismantled eight illegal refineries at Iyalama and Jellikiri areas in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers.
He said the troops of 29 Battalion also immobilised an illegal refinery containing more than 5,000 litres of illegally refined gas at Rumuekpe Community in Emohua Local Government Area of the state.
According to him, troops of 146 Battalion also immobilised three reactivated illegal refinery sites, containing six boilers and 12 storage tanks around Opokiri and Ijawkiri in Bonny Local Government Area.
“More so, on same day, troops of 103 Battalion immobilised a warehouse containing 53 jerry cans of illegally refined gas along Abonnema-Obonoma Road in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area.
“On Dec. 5, troops of 29 Battalion discovered and immobilised 3 illegal oil refinery sites around Bolo 1, 2 and 3 as well as Tupsoi in Ogu/Bolo Loal Government Area.
“On same day, troops immobilised illegal refinery sites around Ikata and Edeoha in Ahoada East Local Government Area,’’ he said.
Enenche further disclosed that troops of 146 Battalion intercepted and immobilised four wooden boats and unspecified quantity of crude oil around Orutoru and Peterside in Bonny Local Government Area.
He added that troops of 103 Battalion had on Dec. 6, immobilised three wooden boats mounted with 40 Horse Power out board engines around Sama Creek in the state.
According to him, troops of 146 Battalion has demobilised illegal refining sites containing seven boilers, two reservoirs and a storage tanks laden with illegally refined petroleum products around Orutoru and Oputumbi in Bonny Local governmeGo Area on Dec. 7.
Enenche said the troops of 19 Battalion also intercepted and destroyed two wooden boats laden with illegally refined AGO along Otunana Creek in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta .
He said the troops of 3 Battalion, same day, arrested four pipeline vandals with three gas cylinders, one local boat, one sledge hammer, one nozzle and a hose at Kusumi Community in Warri South – West Local Government Area.
He explained that on Dec. 3, some repentant cultists surrendered weapons to troops of 29 Battalion and Nigeria Police at Bodo Community in Gakama Local Government Area of Rivers.
“The weapons surrendered include, four AK47 rifles, five G3 rifles, two Pump action guns, two locally made pistols, one Dane-gun, one K2 rifle, one pump machine rifle, 13 magazines and 240 rounds of ammunition,’’ he said.
In the South West, Enenche said that troops of Operation AWATSE had on Dec. 2, arrested two suspected drug peddlers with 59 bags of Indian Hemp along Ala road in Ondo State.
He also noted that troops of Nigerian Navy Forward Operating Base Igbokoda, Ondo State, arrested a suspected kidnapper at Asere in Ese Odo Local Government Area of the state.
According to him, the suspect has since been handed over to appropriate prosecuting agency for necessary action.
“The military high command encourages the troops and personnel of other security agencies to remain determined and sustain the tempo in all the joint operations areas.
“The high command also reassures the public of its untiring dedication towards securing the country.
“The public are enjoined to continue providing timely information on the activities of criminals in their various localities to the military and other security agencies for prompt and effective action,’’ he said.