Military denies crude oil thefts products worth N604m in South South, arrest 8 foreign miners in North West, says DHQ

The military has denied crude oil thefts Petroleum products worth of N604million in the South South Zone of the country and arrested 8 foreign miners in North West Zone in last two weeks in its fight against terrorists and criminals, the Defence Headquarters has said.

Director of Defence Media Operations, DMO, Major General Musa Danmadami
disclosed this during the biweekly media briefing on Thursday in Abuja, said that the 8 foreign illegal miners were arrested by troops at Anka village in Anka Local Government Area Zamfara State.

He said that troops of Operations DELTA SAFE and other operations have sustained the tempo in the war against oil theft, illegal refineries and other criminal activities in the South South region of the country through aggressive raid, patrol as well as clearance operations amongst others.

The Director said that troops conducted series of raids and operations across the zone in the last two weeks and arrested a woman named withheld and recovered 2 AK47 rifles, 12 AK47 magazines, 105 rounds of 7.62mm special, 55 rounds of 7.62mm NATO ball, 63 rounds of assault rifles ammo, 6 mobile phones and other sundry items.

In another operations troops arrested a gang of suspected criminals at Otowodo junction in Ugelli North Local Government Area of Delta State who are on the wanted list of troops.

Following their arrest, it was discovered that the gang members were responsible for the continuous pipe vandalization and illegal crude oil refining within the general area and the attack on security agents between 7 and 22 May 2023 while on anti bunkering operation in the forest of Okpolo Enwle.

Major General Danmadami said that
troops of Operation OCTOPUS GRIP also conducted several operational activities and buggies operation at the creeks, jetty, high sea and towns at different locations within Bayelsa, Delta and River States.

The troops made discovery and destroyed 47 illegal refining sites, 250 storage tanks, 220 ovens, 32 dugout pits and 31 wooden boats. Troops also recovered 186,000 litres of crude oil, 42,750 litres of Automotive Gas Oil, 4,500 litres of Premium Motor Spirit, 200 litres of Dual Purpose Kerosine, 5 vehicles, 12 weapons, 296 ammunition, 1 pumping machine, 4 outboard engines and arrested 24 economy saboteurs.

According him ,”cumulatively, within the weeks in focus troops in the South South zone recovered 186,000 litres of crude oil, 42,750 litres of Automotive Gas Oil, 4,500 litres of Premium Motor Spirit, 200 litres Dual Purpose Kerosine, 250 storage tanks, 220 ovens, 32 dugout pits and 31 wooden boats, 1 gas welding cylinder, 1 pocking gas, 2 gas burners, 2 gas gauge, 2 adjustable spanners, 1 pumping machine,

Other items recovered were “4 outboards engines, 300 ammunitions, 15 AK47 magazines, 211 mobile phones, 3 vehicles, 100 wraps of suspected cannabis sativa, 3 and 4 pinches of substance suspected to be heroin and cocaine, 177 pinches of amphetamines and the sum of Seventeen Thousand, Three Hundred Naira (N17,300.00) only while 65 suspected criminals were arrested.

The Director of Defence Media Operations said troops of Joint Task Force Operation HADARIN DAJI in the North West are engaged in flushing out terrorists, banditry and other criminalities from the North West zone of the country and arrested the 8 foreign miners on May 18, 2023 .

He said that the military has began an investigation following the arrest of the foreigners and it would be premature to state the kind of mineral the foreigners were mining.

He however, added that the troops are continuing with their operational activities at villages, forest, and towns within Anka, Shinkafi and Maradun Local Government Areas of Zamfara State as well as Jibia, Bataigarwa and Sabuwa Local Government Areas of Katsina States.

Other locations include Gada, Birnin Gwari, Sanga, Chikun, Kajuru and Kachia Local Government Areas of Sokoto and Kaduna State.

“Notably, on 19 and 23 May 2023, troops on fighting patrol to Dawan Jiya and Tungar DAji in Anka Local Government Area of Zamfara State and made contact with terrorists.

“During the encounter, troops neutralized unconfirmed number of terrorists, while other fled in disarray with gun short wounds. Troops equally destroyed their camps, enclaves, motorcycles and recovered 2 AK47 rifles, 1 AA gun mounted, 1 damaged AK47 rifle, 1 locally made pistol, 1 dane gun, 1 drum magazine, 1 AK47 magazine, 75 rounds of 7.62mm special and other sundry items .”