By Odimmegwa Johnpeter/Abuja
Petroleum products valued at approximately N537,090,102.12 have been seized from oil thieves by troops of Operation DELTA SAFE, who discovered and destroyed several illegal refining sites in the conduct of Operation OCTOPUS GRIP.
The discoveries were recorded between 8 and 22 September 2022 as troops of Joint Task Force Operation DELTA SAFE theatre of operation continued to sustain offensive actions against oil thieves and economic saboteurs through its kinetic operations towards denying the criminal elements freedom of action to create a conducive environment for economic activities in the Joint Operation Area to thrive.
Director, Defence Media Operations (DMO), Major General Musa Danmadami, who made this known during the bi-weekly media briefing in Abuja on Thursday, revealed that during the patrol, raids, clearance and swamp buggy operations conducted by troops of Operation DELTA SAFE in the creeks, villages, communities and towns in Dleta, Bayelsa and Rivers State, many items were recovered, including 17 wooden boats, 103 storage tanks, 94 ovens and 58 dugout pits.
“Troops also recovered 10 trucks, 1 generator, 1 tanker, 2 vehicles, 8 pumping machines, arrested 17 pipelines vandals while a total of 7,805 Barrels of crude oil and 2,613 Barrels of Automotive Gas Oil were recovered.
“In addition, a total of N134,670,255.72 of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) and N402,419,846.04 were denied the oil thieves,” he said.
According to Major-general Danmadami, “in the past 2 weeks troops in the various theatre of operations conducted several kinetic and non-kinetic operations with significant results recorded”
He announced that in the North Eaest geo-political zone of the country, troops of Operation HADIN KAI theatre of operation sustained aggressive operations to deny terrorists further freedom of action and that in furtherance to this, troops conducted fighting patrols, ambushes and clearance operations at communities, villages and towns in Kukawa, Monguno, Kaga, Dikwa, Biu, Damboa, Gwoza, Mafa, Konguda, Bama and Guzamala Local Government Areas all in Borno State.
He said: “Of significant was the neutralization of 2 key Boko Haram Terrorists/Islamic State of West Africa Province commander on the 12th and 15th September 2022 identified as Abu Asiya and Abu Ubaida (A Qaid) at Parisu and Sheruri general area in Sambisa forest respectively.
“Consequently, within the period in review, troops neutralized 36 terrorists, rescued 130 civilians and arrested 46 suspected Boko Haram Terrorists as well as 12 suspected Boko Haram Terrorists/Islamic State of West Africa Province logistic suppliers.
“Furthermore, 21 AK47 rifles, 163 rounds of 7.62mm special, 2 RPG bombs, 25 dane guns, 4 unexplosive ordinance store, 2 bandoliers, 10 solar panels, 23 bicycles, 10 motorcycles, 1 tricycle, 19 cell phones, 28 torch lights, bags of assorted grains, 122 rustled sheep, and the sum of N203,125.00 were recovered among other items.
“Equally, a total of 368 suspected Boko Haram Terrorists/Islamic State of West Africa Province criminals and their families comprises of 53 adult males, 116 adult females and 214 children surrendered to own troops at different locations in the theatre. All recovered items, rescued civilians and apprehended suspected terrorists were handed over to the relevant authority for further action while surrendered Boko Haram Terrorists and their families are being profiled for further action.”
Major-General Danmadami also spoke on the air component of Operation HADIN KAI on 9 September 2022 while acting on credible intelligence conducted air interdiction operation at Somalia in Sambisa Forest and bombarded a terrorist critical facility.
“The air strike inflicted deadly casualty on the terrorists as feedback revealed that several of the terrorists were neutralized while several structures were destroyed after the strike. Similar operation was carried out on terrorist enclaves at Abdallari, Mafa, Zanari and Tumbun Baba between 10 and 14 September 2022, the airstrikes led to the neutralization of several terrorists with several of their structures destroyed in the strikes,” he said.
In the North-Central zone, he said the air component of Operation WHIRL PUNCH continued the onslaught against terrorists, as an air interdiction operation was carried out on 8 September 2022 at an identified terrorists’ hideout at Gaude in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State.
“Intelligence report confirmed that the location was usually used by the terrorists for planning their nefarious activities. It was further revealed that all the attacks around Shiroro were orchestrated from this location and consequently, the hideout was bombarded. Feedback, revealed that several terrorists were neutralized with others fleeing with various degrees of injuries.
Also, 2 suspected gun runners enroute Onitsha to Abuja were arrested by personnel of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency along Okene-Lokoja road in Kogi State. Items recovered from the suspects were 12 pump action guns and 374 cartridges. The arrested suspects and recovered items were handed over to the Nigerian Police for further action,” he said.
Commenting of the activities of troops of Operation HADARIN DAJI in the North-West zone, Major-General Danmadami reviealed that on 15 September 2022, troops arrested 2 suspected terrorists’ collaborators at Access Bank, PZ Branch in Zaria Local Government Area of Kaduna State while trying to withdraw the sum of N14million deposited into the account of one Alhaji Abubakar a suspected terrorist financier.
“Troops also conducted operational activities in villages, communities and towns in Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina and Kaduna State in the North West zone of the Country. During the operations troops neutralized 16 suspected terrorists and arrested 10 notorious terrorists at different locations in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State. While, 5 AK47 rifles, 10 rounds of 7.62mm special, 17 mobile phones, 2 motorcycles, 3 locally made rifles, 3 pairs of woodland camouflage, 118 rustled sheep, 4 boafeng radio and N29,250.00 cash among other items were recovered, while 21 civilians were rescued. All recovered items, arrested terrorists and rescued civilians were handed over to relevant authority for further action,” said.
He further announced that troops in conjunction with other security agents have sustained the offensive and raid operation against the activities of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra/Eastern Security Network criminal activities and other criminal elements in the zone.
“Notably, on 17 September 2022, troops in a coordinate joint operation with the Nigerian Police and operatives of the Department of State Security Service conducted offensive operation at a identified criminal camp at Orsumoghu forest in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State.
“During the encounter troops neutralized 2 criminals and recovered 4 Improvised Explosive Devices, 4 locally fabricated RPGs, 1 pump action rifle, 5 dane guns, 1 short gun, 1 pistol, 34 rounds of 7.62mm special, 5 vehicles, 7 motorcycles, among others. Troops also conducted operational activities in Imo, Enugu State and Abia States at criminal hideouts and camps. Consequently, from these operations, troops recovered 4 Improvised Explosive Devices, 4 locally fabricated RPGs, 1 pump action rifle, 4 pistols, 4 AK47 rifles, 10 motorcycles, 50 rounds of 7.62mm special and 7 dane guns among others. Troops also arrested 5 suspected criminals and neutralized 4. All recovered items, and arrested criminals were handed over to relevant authority for further action,” he said.
He said that troops of Operation AWATSE also continued to sustain aggressive patrols and raid operations to curb the menace of smugglers of contraband goods and other criminal elements in the South-West zone, adding that troops of Operation AWATSE in the conduct of Operation SWIFT RESPONSE and Operation TRIPARTITE JOINT BORDER PATROL conducted operational activities at Rounda road in Lafenwa Abeokuta South Local Government Area, Ijebu Ode-Ibadan road, Sango Ota, Idiroko, in Ewekoro Local Government Area and Yewa Local Government Area of Ogun State.
“The Maritime component of Operation AWATSE on 12 September 2022 arrested 2 child trafficking criminals with 2 passenger boats loaded with 13 teenage girls suspected to be victims of child trafficking around Akarakumo waterways in Badagry Local Government Area of Lagos State.
“Equally, troops in conjunction with the Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on 18 September 2022 raided a suspected drug baron’s residence at Solebo Estate, Ipakodo in Ikorodu Local Government Area of Lagos State during the operation troops arrested 4 suspected drug barons and a foreign national with 1,855kg of substance, suspected to be cocaine worth $278,250,000.00 equivalent of about N184,700,000,000.00.
“Cumulatively, within the weeks in focus, troops recovered 1,953 bags of 50kg foreign rice, 212 jerrycans of 30 litres of Premium Motor Spirit, 2 vehicles, 2 wooden boats and 1 motorcycle as well as arrested 3 suspected smugglers. Furthermore, operatives of the Nigerian Custom Services along Ijebu Ode-Ibadan road in Ijebu Ode Local Government Area of Ogun State, intercepted a truck containing 20 drums of calcium carbide and 41 pairs of military camouflage.”