Sunday, November 24, 2013

JTF Smashes Militants’ Camp In Bakassi, Shuts Illegal Refineries, Seizes 4 Vessels

The Joint Task Force (JTF) in the Niger Delta, codenamed Operation
Pulo Shield, said its operatives have dismantled a militant camp in
Bakassi local government area of Cross River State. The force
disclosed that its operatives destroyed 59 illegal refineries,
arrested seven suspects, and 4 barges in its offensive against oil
These disclosures were contained in a statement released Sunday in
Yenogoa, the Bayelsa State capital, by the JTF's media coordinator,
Lieutenant-Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu. The statement added that several
rounds of ammunition were also recovered from the camp.
"During the clamp down, the troops recovered 24 x 7.62mm round
cartons, 5 Browning machine gun ammunitions, 3 x 7.62 mm round special
and 7 live cartridges. Other items recovered from the camp include 4
machine gun belts and one passport fiber boat belonging to Inland
Water Ways Agency," the JTF stated.
According to Colonel Nwachukwu, the captured camp was known in the
local area as "Efut Esighi." He said the camp served as an operational
base from which pirates and militants attacked their victims.
The spokesman said JTF operatives also destroyed three illegal crude
oil distillation camps concealed in a forest at Agbede and Egwua, in
Esako West and Warri South West local government areas of Edo and
Delta States respectively. Also reportedly confiscated were items used
for the militants' illicit acts, including seven steel surface tanks,
seven locally fabricated ovens used for heating up stolen crude oil,
235 metal drums and four dug-out pits containing stolen crude oil.
The JTF added that its agents shut down shut down 56 illegal crude oil
distillation camps in operations carried out in Bayelsa and Rivers
States. According to its spokesman, JTF troops destroyed 16 "Cotonou"
boats, 22 pumping machines, one power generator, 25 zinc plates used
for fabricating local crude oil distillers, one welding machine, and
32 sawed pipes used by oil thieves. The troops also impounded four
metal barges and a speed boat caught engaging in illegal oil bunkering
activities during the operations which took place from November 11 to
22, 2013.
Colonel Nwachukwu further stated that seven suspects were arrested for
oil theft-related offences. He revealed that the suspects were
undergoing preliminary investigations before they would be handed over
to prosecuting agencies.

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