• Thursday, April 18, 2024
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BusinessDay

Soldiers foil oil theft attempts worth over N8 billion

Explainer: How Nigeria can curb crude oil theft

Operation DELTA SAFE of the Nigerian Armed Forces thwarted oil theft attempts valued at over N8 billion, resulting in the recovery of millions of litres of stolen crude oil and illegally refined petroleum products.

According to reports presented by Edward Buba, Director of Defence Media Operations, during a press briefing in Abuja, a total of 1,289,945 litres of stolen crude oil, 399,360 litres of illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil (AGO), 4,100 litres of Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK), and 39,150 litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) were seized during these operations.

In addition to the oil recovery, troops unearthed and dismantled numerous facilities used for illicit refining activities. This included 51 dugout pits, 81 boats, 520 drums, and 82 storage tanks, all crucial components of the illegal refining process.

Buba further stated that various equipment and machinery associated with illegal refining operations, such as cooking ovens and pumping machines, were confiscated, further disrupting criminal activities in the region.

According to him, the operation also saw the apprehension of 63 suspected oil thieves.

The Armed Forces also reported that it neutralized 974 terrorists and the successfully rescued 466 hostages in their operations throughout February.

While highlighting the effectiveness of the operations, Buba stated that troops executed coordinated strikes leveraging both ground and air forces to target terrorist enclaves with precision.

“The success of the operations extended across various theatres in the country, particularly in the six geopolitical zones. February 2024 witnessed remarkable accomplishments, including the apprehension of 621 suspects and the liberation of hostages from captivity.

“Additionally, the Armed Forces seized a vast array of weaponry, comprising 1,573 assorted weapons and 23,345 rounds of ammunition”, Buba stated.

He noted that all recovered items, along with arrested suspects and rescued hostages, have been handed over to the relevant authorities for further action, ensuring that perpetrators are brought to justice and security is maintained across the nation.