• Friday, May 24, 2024
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Troops crack down on oil theft, arrest 37 suspects

Troops crack down on oil theft, arrest 37 suspects

By Ojochenemi Onje

Troops of the Nigerian Army have arrested 37 suspects allegedly involved in oil theft, amid ongoing military operations targeting illegal activities in the Niger Delta region. The troops also denied oil theft of an estimated N821.2m

Edward Buba, director of defence media operations, said significant progress has been recorded in ongoing military operations across Nigeria. He noted their successful efforts in combating various forms of criminal activities, including oil theft and terrorism.

According to him, during their operations, troops uncovered and demolished 99 dugout pits, 36 storage tanks, and 192 cooking ovens used for illegal activities.

The crackdown also led to the recovery of substantial amounts of stolen resources, including 349,970 litres of crude oil, 112,135 litres of illegally refined diesel, 7,560 litres of kerosene, and 13,000 litres of petrol.

Buba highlighted the results of their counter-terrorism, revealing that 192 terrorists were neutralised, 341 individuals engaged in criminal activities were nabbed, and 62 kidnapped hostages were successfully rescued.

He further stated that 122 ISWAP combatants surrendered, along with their family members, dealing a significant blow to terrorist operations.

In addition to these, the troops confiscated 211 assorted weapons and 6,288 pieces of ammunition. The arsenal included 128 AK47 rifles, 26 dane guns, and various other lethal items such as rounds of NATO and special ammunition, live cartridges, and rounds of 9mm ammo.

Edward Buba emphasised the need to dismantle terrorist networks and eliminate their capabilities. He stressed the critical role of intelligence gathering and surveillance in distinguishing between terrorists and civilians, ensuring precision in military actions.

He warned against deceptive tactics employed by terrorist sympathisers, urging the media vigilance in reporting the true nature of casualties during military operations.

According to Buba, the military is intensifying its efforts to eradicate terrorist threats by targeting their leadership and dismantling their networks across various operational zones.

“Through meticulous intelligence gathering and surveillance, airstrikes have successfully eliminated several terrorist leaders and their accomplices hiding in remote areas.

“These strikes have prompted retaliatory tactics, with terrorists attempting to manipulate media narratives by portraying civilian casualties as innocent victims rather than their associates”, Buba noted.