The Joint Task Force operating in the Niger Delta region, code-named Operation Delta Safe,has again hit hard on oil thieves in Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta and Rivers States.
The Director of Defence Media Operations, Major General Musa Danmadami, disclosed this in a press statement on Thursday, last week.
The statement read: “Troops of Joint Task ForceOperation Delta Safe theatre of operation have sustained pressure towards denying criminal elements freedom of action, essential to sustain a conducive environment for economic activities to thrive while ensuring a relative peaceful environment for the operations of IOCs and the protection of oil and gas infrastructure in the general area.
‘In furtherance to this, troops of Operation DeltaSafe in the conduct of Operation OctopusGripconducted operational activities at creeks, waterways, communities, villages, town and cities within Delta, Bayelsa, Cross Rivers and Rivers States respectively.
“During the operations, troops discovered and destroyed 60 illegal refining sites, 58 wooden boats, 6 speed boats, 384 storage tanks, 223 cooking ovens and 60 dugout pits.
“Troops also recovered 20 pumping machines, 3 motorcycles, 1 tricycle, 18 vehicles and arrested 34 pipeline vandals while a total of Three Million, Seven Hundred and Sixty-Four Thousand (3,764,000) litres of crude oil, Four Hundred and Fifty-Eight Thousand (458,000) litres of Automotive Gas Oil, One Thousand (1,000) litres of Premium Motor Spirit and Thirteen Thousand (13,000) litres of Dual Purpose Kerosine were also recovered.
“In a related development, troops of Operation Dakarta DaBarawo in the sustained fight against crude oil theft and maritime illegalities discovered and destroyed a total of 14 illegal refineries, 72 metal storage tanks, 9 wooden boats, 29 dugout pits, 51 ovens and 25 reservoirs.
“Cumulatively, within the weeks under review,oil thieves were denied a total of Two Billion One Hundred and Forty-Six Million Seven Hundred Ninety-Five Thousand Four Hundred Seventy-Two Naira Forty-Two Kobo (N2,146,795,472.42) in the South-South region.
“Also, between 23 to 28 September 2022, the air component of Operation Delta Safe conducted air interdiction operations at location observed to be carrying out illegal refining activities at Ahoada in Rivers State.
“The airstrike destroyed the illegal refining site with several criminals fleeing during the engagement.
“A similar air interdiction operation was carried out on a location observed to be an active illegal refining site with the boathouse accommodation and facilities destroyed while few criminals fled in disarray.”