The military high command has reported significant achievements in its efforts to combat illegal crude oil activities and oil theft. Over the past two weeks, they have discovered and demolished 23 illegal crude oil refineries and apprehended 60 suspected oil thieves. The Director of Defence Media Operations, Maj. Gen. Edward Buba, disclosed this during a biweekly press briefing in Abuja.
In the operations under Operation Delta Safe, troops recovered 367,200 litres of crude oil and 27,150 litres of Automotive Gas Oil. Additionally, they seized 550 assorted rounds of ammunition and 12 different types of weapons. The military also destroyed 22 illegal refining sites, 15 wooden boats, 34 storage tanks, 96 ovens, and 16 dugout pits. The apprehension of 60 suspects contributed to foiling the theft of crude oil worth N202,788,300.00.
Regarding the burning of a Cameroon-bound vessel loaded with stolen crude oil, Maj. Gen. Edward Buba defended the military’s action, stating that it was in accordance with the military’s Standard Operating Procedures on stolen crude oil. He emphasized that the destruction of vessels involved in oil theft is a standard procedure outlined for such cases.
During the last two weeks, the military also conducted operations against the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in the South-East, raiding four hideouts and arresting 12 members. In the North-West, troops of Operation Whirl Punch neutralized nine terrorists and arrested 15, while 20 kidnapped civilians were rescued. Similarly, in the North Central, they recovered arms and arrested suspects in the course of their operations.
Overall, the military has demonstrated its commitment to tackling oil theft and other security challenges, adhering to established procedures and protocols in their operations.