Mil­i­tary de­stroys 436 il­le­gal re­finer­ies, ar­rests 266 sus­pects

The Punch - - FRONT PAGE - Sa­muel Nke­makolem, Ye­nagoa

The Joint Mil­i­tary Task Force code-named ‘Op­er­a­tion Delta Safe’ op­er­at­ing in Niger Delta says it de­stroyed over 436 il­le­gal re­finer­ies, 609 Cotonou boats and 1,507 sur­face tanks in the re­gion in two months.

Also de­stroyed by the task force were 1, 538 drums used for il­le­gal bunker­ing.

The Act­ing Di­rec­tor, De­fence In­for­ma­tion, Brig Gen John Agim,who ad­dressed re­porters in Ye­nagoa on Thurs­day, also said 266 per­sons were ar­rested by the out­fit in con­nec­tion with il­le­gal bunker­ing in the area.

Agim said over 230 arms, 240 am­mu­ni­tion, 11 barges, 101 en­gines and 13 trucks were seized from il­le­gal re­fin­ery oper­a­tors.

he said the OPDS had recorded a sig­nif­i­cant achieve­ment since it be­gan work in Oc­to­ber with the de­struc­tion of il­le­gal refin­ing sites in Okarki, Bayelsa State.

he said the out­fit also res­cued the seven Agip oil com­pany’s work­ers who were kid­napped.

The oil work­ers were abducted by armed men at Azuzuama Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Area in Bayelsa.

he said, “Apart from the de­struc­tion of the il­le­gal sites, one of the most wanted mil­i­tants and a mem­ber of the Kill and Bury gang named Gift Apollo aka Thou­sand was ar­rested.”

Agim added, “Act­ing on a tip-off, sus­pected sea rob­bers/cultists from Kelekele com­mu­nity ter­ror­is­ing Abon­nema-buguma wa­ter­ways were ar­rested. In fact, four sus­pected sea rob­bers go­ing to other hide­out in Kelekele creek were ar­rested.”

he said the com­mit­tee set up by the Chief of De­fence Staff, Gen Abay­omi Olonisakin, to in­ves­ti­gate the Com­man­der of the OPDS, Real Ad­mi­ral Suleiman Apochi, had cleared the JTF boss of any wrong­do­ing.

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