The Joint Task Force (JTF) in the Niger Delta, “Operation Pulo Shield”, has arrested 21 suspected oil thieves and destroyed illegal oil bunkering sites in multiple raids in the region.
This was disclosed in a statement by the Media Coordinator of the JTF, Lt.-Col. Ado Isa, in Yenagoa, capital of Bayelsa State.
He said, the operation was carried out in 10 days by troops deployed to Oka pipeline in Ikpoba Okha Local Government Area of Edo. The soldiers impounded an illegal oil bunkering truck with registration number EDO BEN 117 ZN.
Commenting further, 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.
Explaining further, Isa said some vandals spotting the arrival of the troops fled, but the troops were still able to make some arrest, that the arrest were made at Ughelli-Warri and Orerokpe Community in Okpe and Ughelli North Local Government Areas of Delta.
He said the troops successfully recovered valuable items which includes; armored cable, circuit breaker, cutouts, and impounded an illegal oil bunkering tanker laden with 33,000 litres of substances suspected to be illegally refined.
He added that a notorious suspected kidnapper was arrested at Oghara in Ethiope West Local Government Area of Delta in connection with the kidnap of one Mrs Ufoma James
It will be recalled that Similar to this operation, Sector 2 of the JTF operating on Gbenekrukru general area of Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, destroyed six illegal bunkering sites where oil thieves operated.
Items found and destroyed at the site includes four storage tanks, illegal oil storage pits and drums filled with illegally acquired AGO, hoses and pumping machine.