• Thursday, April 18, 2024
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BusinessDay

Oil Theft: Troops uncover 102 dugout wells, recover N1bn

Troops have uncovered a staggering 102 dugout wells believed to be used in oil theft activities, in a major crackdown in the Niger Delta area.

This revelation came to light during a press briefing held by Edward Buba, Director of Defence Media Operations, in Abuja on Thursday.

During the operation, troops in the Niger Delta area discovered and destroyed 102 dugout pits, 41 boats, 36 storage tanks, and 8 vehicles, and denied the theft of an estimated sum of N1,050,715,260.

Additionally, they seized 39 cooking ovens, 6 pumping machines, and dismantled 61 illegal refining sites.

Among the items recovered were 944,700 litres of stolen crude oil, 171,060 litres of illegally refined AGO (Automotive Gas Oil), and 1,500 litres of DPK (Dual Purpose Kerosene).

During the week, troops also neutralized 212 and arrested 252 individuals.

They also successfully rescued 244 kidnapped hostages.

Troops further seized 223 assorted weapons and 2,756 assorted ammunition, underscoring their commitment to tackling criminal activities in the region.

The armed forces remain dedicated to sustaining successful operational engagements, exemplified by recent hostage rescues in Sokoto and Kaduna States. These operations, conducted in collaboration with local authorities and government agencies, demonstrate the unwavering commitment of the armed forces to protect citizens against harm and acts of terror.

However, the recent incident in Delta State, which resulted in the tragic loss of 17 soldiers, serves as a solemn reminder of the risks faced by military personnel in the line of duty. Despite this, the armed forces continue to engage with local communities and undertake civic projects as a sign of goodwill.

The military urges citizens to cooperate in identifying and apprehending wanted individuals involved in criminal activities. Troops vow to persist until all culprits are brought to justice, emphasizing the importance of collective responsibility in maintaining peace and security.

In the face of ongoing challenges, according to Buba, troops remained resolute in their efforts to eliminate threats posed by criminals and ensure the safety of the populace.
“Citizens are encouraged to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activities to aid in the fight against crime and terrorism”, he stated.