Maj.-Gen. Bernard Onyeuko

The military destroys 109 illicit processing sites and apprehends oil thieves.

According to the Defence Headquarters, troops from Operation Delta Safe identified and destroyed 109 illicit refining installations and detained 24 economic saboteurs in the South-South zone a fortnight ago.

Military destroys 109 illegal refining sites and arrests oil thieves.

Maj.-Gen. Bernard Onyeuko, Director, Defence Media Activities, stated this while updating journalists on the armed forces’ operations on Thursday in Abuja.

According to Onyeuko, the forces involved in Operation Octopus Grip uncovered and destroyed 34 wooden boats, 150 storage tanks, 119 ovens, and 104 dugout pits.

During that time, the military retrieved 27 pumping machines, one firearm, a one-speed boat, 13 cars, and seven outboard engines, according to him.

The military also found 4.3 million gallons of crude oil, 2.05 million litres of diesel, and 30,000 litres of kerosine, according to him.

According to him, forces also caught 24 economic saboteurs and turned over all recovered goods and apprehended suspects to the competent authorities.

Onyeuko stated that on July 5, the Nigerian Navy Ship Okpabana reacted to a distress call and rescued a 16-meter surfing passenger boat MV Nue Swift belonging to a Lagos-based oil maintenance firm.

According to him, the boat lost its propulsive power while crossing from Forcados to Bonny Mooring at Agbara Platform and drifted for 32 hours until being rescued by its own forces.

“Accordingly, the crew turned over the boat to the Forward Operations Base, Bonny on July 6,” he stated.

In the South West, Onyeuko stated that troops were still fighting crime and cracking down on smugglers along the zone’s border.

He stated that on July 3, troops recovered 61 25-litre jerry cans of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) during a joint border patrol.

They stopped two cars carrying 163 fifty kilos of foreign rice along Ifo-Abeokuta in Ifo Local Government Area and Ijimu-Tata in Imeko Afon Local Government Area of Ogun, according to him.

“All recovered items were given to the Nigerian Customs Service in Abeokuta.”

In response to queries, Maj.-Gen. Jimmy Akpor, Director of Defence Information, stated that the operations of the oil thieves were a lose-lose situation for both the criminals and the government.

The products seized from the offenders, according to Akpor, are no longer usable and cannot be restored to the pipelines or processed for use.

He asked for the public’s help in protecting economic assets and preventing environmental degradation.

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