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TROOPS RESCUE KIDNAPPED VICTIMS; BUST ILLEGAL REFINERIES

Troops of sector 2 and 3 of the Operation Delta Safe of the Nigerian Navy, have carried out a series of successful operations in the Niger Delta of Nigeria, rescuing kidnapped persons and recovering stolen crude, arms and discovering illegal refineries. The Defence Headquarters disclosed this during a press release yesterday.

The troops of Sector 2 during routine monitoring of Nembe Owelesu in Bayelsa State, met sea robbers at the “Abuja Open Water” in Nembe. The pirates, sighting the troop’s gunboats, escaped into the creeks. Nonetheless, the troops freed 15 hostages in 5 speed boats that were steered by the criminals.

In a related development, the Nigerian Navy Ship PATHFINDER patrol team, based on a tipoff, on 23 April 2020, caught and arrested 3 Barges (MV Rock 1, JULIANAH, and another unnamed barge) filled with illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) at AGIP waterfront for suspected act of illegal oil bunkering. Another barge arrested by same team at the entrance of the Okochiri River, was found to be containing (stolen) crude oil.

Troops of the Sector 3 Operation Delta Safe also busted four separate sites of illegal oil refinery within the Dema Abby – Oputumbi – Nanabie – Promiseland – Otobie axis and the Ogono area. Discovered were 7 boilers, 9 storage tanks, 8 metal tanks, a dugout reservoir all filled with stolen crude oil; 8 metal tanks, 18 metal drums, 11 reservoir tanks containing illegally refined AGO and Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK); 2 empty “Cotonou boats”, a power generator set, a pumping machine, 2 welding machines, a filing machine, rolls of hose, and a speedboat equipped with a 75 HP engine ( for illegal oil bunkering). In addition, the troops of Sector 3 while on patrol, intercepted a barge laden with suspected illegally refined AGO around Orutoru axis of Rivers State. In the same vein, on Saturday 25 April 2020, in response to intelligence report, troops of Headquarters Operation DELTA SAFE discovered and took account of an Illegal refining site in the Uzere community of Ugheli-North LGA of Delta State.

Earlier on Thursday 23rd April, 2020, troops of Sector 2 tasked along KCTL pipeline at Odau Community in Abua/Odual LGA of Rivers State, apprehended 3 suspected pipeline vandals close to Shell Petroleum Development Company pipeline.

A total of 3 weapons were recovered, 48 illegal refineries, 28 surface metal storage tanks, 60 cooking ovens and 18 Cotonou boats amongst others were discovered; about 58500 litres of DPK, 11750 litres of PMS, 855900 litres of AGO, and a staggering estimated 1507000 litres of crude oil were seized by the troops.

Every freed kidnap victim, the recovered items and every arrested suspect are to be handed over to the respective authorities at the conclusion of preliminary investigations.

The also Defence Headquarters urged the general public not to relent in giving credible information helps the Military to deal with saboteurs and destructive elements.

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