Nigerian army soldiers conducting training and clearance operations against Niger Delta militants in Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers states, on Sunday arrested 15 suspected oil vandals in different operations and destroyed several illegal oil refineries.
A statement detailing the operations on Monday signed by Col Sani Usman, Acting Director, Army Public Relations said “Troops of 4 Brigade Nigerian Army involved in the field training exercise nicknamed “Crocodile Smile” mounted on gunboats and speedboats have been making tremendous progress as they also raided suspected criminal hideouts in the creeks around Ajaosolo, Okogho, Opumani, and Obodo general area.
“While conducting the exercise, on Sunday 28th August 2016, they intercepted suspected illegal oil bunkerer with 1 “Cotonou Boat” laden with crude oil, 3 X 40 Horse power Yamaha Speedboats and 5 X 200 Litres of illegally refined diesel oil.
“Two suspects; Mr. Tokolo Sawyer and Miss Showman Ebi-ere were arrested at “Loveth Plaze”, while Mr Kingsley Ebidimo and 7 others with unidentified mission were equally arrested at Pendo as they were found to be in possession of substance believed to be Marijuana, 1 Axe, 2 Cutting Saw and a long iron bender in their hideouts. “The suspects and exhibits have been handed over to the Nigeria Police at Bomadi.
“Following intelligence reports, 2 illegal crude oil refineries were identified and destroyed by the exercising troops traversing Ayakoromo and Esaba water ways in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State.
“At about 5.00pm same day, 2 Pumping Machines and sets of new pipes used for the construction of illegal refineries and siphoning were found in the bush.
“Two suspects were interrogated to ascertain their involvement on the recovered items. The troops have continued their training exercise without hitch.
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