Nigerian Troops deny oil thieves over two hundred million naira 

By Martha Obi, Abuja

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Nigeria’s Defence Headquarters says troops of Operation Octopus Grip and Operation Dakatar da Barawo have denied oil thieves the sum of Two Hundred and Seventy-Seven Million, Three Hundred and Fifty-Seven Thousand Eight Hundred Naira (N277, 357,800.00) in South South Nigeria.

The Director, Defence Media Operations, Major General Musa Danmadami disclosed this during the bi-weekly news briefing in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, saying that the briefing covered the period of 9th to 23rd March, 2023.

.General Danmadami said “within the weeks in focus, the operations discovered and destroyed 107 illegal refining sites, 140 storage tanks, 58 reservoirs, 151 ovens, 68 dugout pits and 22 wooden boats”.

 According to him, troops equally recovered 561,200 litres of crude oil, 119,000 litres of Automotive Gas Oil, 1 fibre boat, 5 pumping machines, 2 outboard engines, 10 new geepee tanks, 1 tricycle and 6 vehicles while a total of 9 suspected criminals were apprehended.

In another development, the Director also disclosed that troops of Operations HADARIN DAJI and other operations in the North West of the country neutralized 21 terrorists, arrested 12 terrorists logistics suppliers and rescued 16 abducted civilians.

Precisely, on 10 March 2023, troops intercepted and arrested 11 suspected terrorists at Dukku town in Dukku Local Government Area of Gombe State.

He noted that troops searched the general area and recovered 7 pump action guns, 2 locally fabricated cartridges and 10 mobile phones.

Also, between 11 – 13 March 2023, troops conducted fighting patrols to bandits camps at villages within Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State as well as villages within Wasagu/Danko and Zuru Local Government Areas of Kebbi State and made contact with terrorists.

General Danmadami said that “troops exploited the various camps and recovered 139 rounds of 7.62 x 54mm links of PKM ammunition, 8 motorcycles, 175 cows, 113 sheep and 2 mobile phones, while 12 kidnapped victims were also rescued”.

 Also, on 12 and 16 March 2023, troops on fighting patrol to Fatika village in Giwa Local Government Area of Kaduna State and Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara State responded to information on terrorists’ activities.

“Troops made contact with terrorists and following a fire fight, troops neutralized 5 terrorists while others fled”, he said.

However, General Danmadami said Troops searched the area and recovered 4 AK47 rifles, 2 AK47 magazines, 26 rounds of 7.62mm x 39mm special ammunition, 4 motorcycles, 1 solar panel, 1 handheld pump and the sum of N23,700 only.

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Additionally, between 16 – 22 March 2023, troops conducted fighting patrol to villages in Chikun and Birnin Gwari Local Government Areas of Kaduna State, Wasagu Local Government Area of Kebbi state, Shinkafi Local Government of Zamfara State and Isa Local Government Area of Sokoto State and made contact with terrorists. Following the various firefights, troops neutralized 11 terrorists and destroyed 11 motorcycles.

“Troops also recovered 6 AK47 rifles, 1 PKT MG, 218 rounds of 7.62mm special, 47 rounds of PKT ammunition, 9 smoke canister, 4 locally made IEDs, 1 40mm HEAP bomb, 1 RPG 7 tube, 1 jack knife, 6 cartridges, 2 AK47 magazines loaded with 40 rounds of 7.62mm special among other items”, he said.

Equally, on 11 March 2023, troops of Operation WHIRL STROKE while on reconnaissance mission intercepted and arrested 2 bandit suppliers at the outskirts of Gwagwada village in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

Cumulatively, within the period in review, troops in the North West zone recovered 14 AK47 rifles, 1 PKT MG, 1 RPG 7 tube, 15 AK47 magazine, 7 pump action guns, 139 rounds of 7.62 x 54mm link ammunition, 218 rounds of 7.62mm special, 47 rounds of PKT ammunition, 9 smoke canister, 4 locally made IEDs, 1 40mm HEAP ammunition, 2 locally made cartridges, 12 mobile phones, 8 motorcycles, packets of detergents, hard drugs, assorted food items and money.

He said that “all recovered items, arrested suspects, and rescued civilians have been handed over to relevant authority for further action”.

The Military High Command has commended the troop’s efforts in the various theatres of operations across the nation and also acknowledged the media community for their partnership and continued cooperation with the military and other security agencies, in their quest to restore peace and security to the Country.

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