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Nigerian army Wages War Against Oil Bunkering, Sea Piracy

As part of efforts to boost the economic fortune of the country, the Nigerian Army says they were able to curb economic sabotage and associated insecurity in Rivers State within the past few weeks of intensified well coordinated anti oil bunkering and sea piracy operations.

According to Colonel Sagir Musa, the acting Director Army Public Relations, in a press release, said operations were routinely conducted by the Divisions Special Company (SC) in Rivers State. He explained that troops of the SC patriotically patrolled the entire Rivers State, including Abonnema Wharf, Total Elf, Trans Amadi layout, East-West Road, Aluu, Marine Base, Abuloma, Mbodo and Makoba, all in Obio-Akpor LGA and Obiafu in ONLGA Obeta, Oyakama and Obodi in Ahoada West LGA of Rivers State among others.

He said that achievement of the operations resulted in the identification and subsequent destruction of 28 illegal oil refineries along with 1000 sacks/cellophane bags, 760 drums of illegal refined products, 25 dump sites and 6 loaded Cotonou boats containing illegally acquired products.

Meanwhile, the army stated that 12 suspects were arrested along with 60 Tankers/Trucks as well as 26 four wheel vehicles used in the criminal act of economic sabotage.

The Acting Director of Army Public Relations added that the arrested suspects and exhibits had been handed over to relevant security agencies for prosecution.    

According to him, similar operations were also conducted across the Divisions Area of Responding (AOR) between 16 April – 26 May 2019 and indicated that troops of 16 Brigade successfully conducted many anti-illegal oil bunkering operations within Asitobo/Tumbo Creek and Ukparatobu in Southern Ijaw LGA, Ebelebiri in Ogbia LGA and Ogbotobo in Ekeremor local government area, all in Bayelsa State.

He said that during the operations, 46 illegal oil refining sites were located and destroyed along with 85 sacks/cellophane bags, 10 drums and 4 cotou boats all containing illegally refined products.

He also stated that 10 suspects were arrested while 2 motorcycles and 10 mobile phones were recovered.

Other successes recorded by the troop include the arrest of 3 suspected sea robbers at Foropa in Southern Ijaw LGA of Bayelsa State on 26 April 2019 with one locally made gun and 3 live cartridges saying all suspects and exhibits had since been handed over to relevant authorities for prosecution.

Furthermore, he  informed that similar operations were concurrently launched in 63 Bde AOR. Hence troops of 3 Battalion in conjunction with troops of sector 1 Joint Task Force Operation DELTA SAFE (JTF OPDS) carefully planned and successfully executed massive anti-illegal oil bunkering operations covering Jones, Yeye and Otumara Creeks, as well as Beneth Island and Otumara general area of Warri South-West LGA of Delta State.

Consequently, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Baratai through the General Officer commanding 6 Division Major General Jamil Sarham had commended the troops for their dedication and selfless service to the nation and urged them to redouble their efforts in checkmating illegal oil bunkering, sea piracy and pipeline vandalism in 6 Division AOR.