The Defence Headquarters said that military operations conducted in South-South part of the country in the last two weeks had led to the dismantling of illegal refining sites and arrest of some oil thieves.
The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. John Enenche, disclosed this while giving update on the operations of the armed forces in the last two weeks at a news conference on Thursday in Abuja.
Enenche said that between June 18 and July 2 the armed forces with renewed vigour in her operations with other agencies had recorded significant successes against the criminal elements in South-South Zone.
He said that the military operations in the area had also led to seizure of 135 bags of 50 kg foreign parboiled rice and arrest of boats involved in smuggling activities.
“In the South-South Zone of the country, the Maritime Component of Operation DELTA SAFE has recorded tremendous successes within the period under review. Nigerian Navy Ship DELTA dismantled illegal refining sites.
“These sites were observed to have been reactivated with six ovens, five surface metal storage tanks and five dug out pits laden with about 57,000 litres of product suspected to be illegally refined AGO and 649.1 barrels of suspected stolen crude oil.
“These sites are located around Otumara Community in Warri South West, Burutu and Bomadi Local Government Areas of Delta State.
“Troops also arrested two suspects. The suspects have been handed over to the Nigeria Police for further investigation and prosecution,” he said.
According to him, similarly, subsidiary Operation `CALM WATERS’ and Operation `SWIFT RESPONSE’ (OSR) have continued to record remarkable successes.
“The successes recorded within the period under review include seizure of 135 bags of 50 kg foreign parboiled rice as well as arrest of boats involved in smuggling activities amongst others.
“These operations were conducted based on credible intelligence with the combined teams of OSR and Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) strike force.
“These successes recorded have drastically reduced the smuggling of contrabands into the country especially from the South-South axis. The Joint Operation with the NCS proved a worthy partnership in the ongoing border drill.
According to him, the Armed Forces of Nigeria will continue to partner with other security agencies in sustaining the current gains against criminal elements.
He commended all the gallant troops of the Armed Forces and personnel of other security agencies involved in various operations across the country for their commitment and professionalism.
“Troops are further encouraged to remain resolute and decisive in curtailing the activities of terrorists, armed bandits and other criminals across the country.
“The High Command of the Armed Forces, also reassures the general public of its commitment to securing the country for all human activities to strive.
“Members of the general public are always, enjoined to continue providing timely information on the activities of criminals in their various localities to the nearest military and other security agencies location for prompt and effective action,” he said