BAYELSA NEWS: JTF arrests 11 pipeline vandals, shuts down 27 illegal refineries in Niger Delta
LEGISREPORTS NG – Operatives of the Joint Task Force, JTF, code named Operation Pulo Shield have arrested 11 oil theft suspects, and shut down 27 illegal refineries in Delta, Bayelsa and Rivers states.
Spokesman of the JTF, Lt. Col. Onyema Nwachukwu in a statement on Tuesday in Yenagoa said the successes were recorded from July 26 to August9, 2013.
The statement disclosed that five of the suspects were arrested while attempting to steal crude oil from Product and Pipeline Marketing Company (PPMC) pipeline along Otokolomabie creek in Rivers state by troops of 146 Battalion of Sector 2 of the JTF deployed in Bonny Island. He said the suspects were arrested with 3 fibre speedboats and 3 barges with which they carry out their illicit activities.
In Bayelsa state, the statement further said that troops of 343 Regiment and 29 Battalion of Sector 2 of the JTF patrolling the water ways of Mbikiba and Lagosbene in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area shut down 11 illegal crude oil refineries and seized 7 open wooden boats used by the oil thieves.
Similarly, in Delta state, the Spokesman said troops of 3 and 19 Battalions of Sector 1 of the JTF uncovered and shut down 16 illegal crude oil refineries and recovered 50 oil cooking tanks, 37 steel reservoir, 27 large plastic tanks, 40 metal drums and 5 dug out pits. He said the troops also intercepted 10 Open wooden boats (Cotonu boats) conveying adulterated Automated Gas Oil, adding that three of the impounded boats were laden with 15,000 litres each, six contained 20,000 litres each while one of the boats was laden with about 33, 000 litres of adulterated AGO.
According to the statement, the suspects are currently undergoing preliminary investigations before they are handed over to relevant prosecuting agencies.
This report was prepared by our reporter in Yenagoa