JTF arrests 21, destroys illegal oil bunkering sites
The Joint Task Force (JTF) in the Niger Delta, Operation Pulo Shield, has arrested 21 suspected oil thieves, destroyed illegal oil bunkering sites in multiple raids in the region.
This is contained in a statement by Lt.-Col. Ado Isa, Media Coordinator of JTF, in Yenagoa on Thursday.
Isa said the raids were conducted within 10 days.
Isa said that troops deployed to Oka pipeline in Ikpoba Okha Local Government Area of Edo impounded an illegal oil bunkering truck with registration number EDO BEN 117 ZN.
He said that the truck loaded with 16 plastic tanks of 1500 litres capacity was siphoning illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) at the time of arrest.
The spokesman said the products estimated to be about 24,000 litres were suspected to have been illegally siphoned from the NNPC pipeline.
He added that some of the vandals fled prior to the arrival of the troops while the truck was in the custody of the JTF for further investigation.
He said some of the arrested were made at Ughelli-Warri and Orerokpe Community in Okpe and Ughelli North Local Government Areas of Delta.
The spokesman said that items recovered from the suspects were rolls of stolen armored cable, two circuit breaker, 12 cutouts, two saw blades and bags of substances suspected to be Indian hemp.
Isa said the recovered items were in JTF custody and would be handed over to the prosecuting agency after the preliminary investigations.
He said JTF troops also apprehended an illegal oil bunkering tanker laden with 33,000 litres of substances suspected to be illegally refined AGO.
Isa further said that five suspects were arrested while trying to flee the scene, while the truck was impounded.
The spokesman said also that a notorious suspected kidnapper was arrested in connection with the kidnap of one Mrs Ufoma James.
He said that the suspect was arrested at Oghara in Ethiope West Local Government Area of Delta.
Similarly, he said Sector 2 of the JTF operating on Gbenekrukru general area of Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa, destroyed six illegal bunkering sites where oil thieves operated.
He listed items found and destroyed at the site to included four storage tanks, illegal oil storage pits and drums filled with illegally acquired AGO, hoses and pumping machine.