Military intensifies fight against pipeline vandals, economic saboteurs in South-West, South-South


By Sumaila Ogbaje

Abuja, Oct. 22, 2020 The Defence Headquarters says the troops of Operations AWATSE and Delta Safe have intensified the fight against pipeline vandals, economic saboteurs and other criminal elements in the South-West and South-South zones.

The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. John Enenche, stated this on Thursday in Abuja while giving the weekly update on the activities of the military across theatres of operation.

In the South-West, Enenche said the troops of Operation AWATSE arrested two suspected oil thieves at Agala 1 and Ilado areas of Atlas Cove in Lagos State.

He said that the suspects were caught with products suspected to be stolen Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).

In the South-South, Enenche disclosed that troops of Operation Delta Safe, had continued to checkmate and frustrate the activities of oil thieves and economic saboteurs.

He said the Nigerian Navy Ship PATHFINDER, on Oct. 16, discovered and immobilised an illegal refinery containing 321,500 litres of illegally refined oil products in Rivers.

According to him, the illegal site was discovered at Tuma Creek in Degema Local Government Area of Rivers.

He also disclosed that troops of FOB Bonny patrol team destroyed another illegal refinery containing 54,000 litres of crude oil at Dabara Creek in Bonny Local Government of the state.

The coordinator stated that Gunboats of FOB IBAKA impounded 1,637 bags of 50kg smuggled rice in a large wooden boat along Utan Iyata Creek from the Republic of Cameroon on Oct. 17.

He added that the team also intercepted and arrested a small sized wooden boat laden with 33 drums of PMS with two suspects at Mbo River on Oct. 20.

According to him, the suspects are currently in custody and will soon be handed over to the prosecuting agency for necessary action.

Enenche explained that the military was working with other security agencies like the Nigeria Customs Service, Immigration and National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to ensure proper coordination of its activities

He said that all the impounded smuggled rice were handed over to the Customs while drug related cases were handled by NDLEA.

“Overall, the Military High Command commends all the gallant troops of the Armed Forces and personnel of other security agencies involved in various operations across the country for their resoluteness, determination and loyalty.

“They are equally encouraged to remain unwavering and decisive in curtailing the activities of all criminal elements in the country.

“ The general public are hereby reassured that the Nigerian Military will continue to tackle the security challenges to ensure that normalcy is attained in all the geo political zones of the country,’’ he said.