Troops of Operation Delta Safe have in the last three weeks, uncovered and destroyed several illegal refining sites and apprehended 19 suspects in the Niger Delta region.
The Director, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. Musa Danmadami made this known on Thursday in Abuja while briefing newsmen on the operations of the military across the country.
Danmadami said land, maritime and air components conducted operational activities at the creeks, waterways, high seas, towns and cities of Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers to checkmate criminal elements.
He said the troops, in the conduct of Operation Octopus Grip and other operations, discovered and destroyed several illegal refining sites, pieces of equipment and petroleum products and apprehended some suspected criminals.
“Cumulatively, within the weeks in focus troops discovered as destroyed several illegal refining sites, 1,075 cooking ovens, 343 storage tanks, 154 dugout pits and 28 wooden boats.
“Troops also recovered two barges, seven tankers, 56 cars, 12 pumping machines, one outboard engine, one speedboat, one tugboat, seven motorcycles and one tricycle.
“Troops equally recovered 854,500 litres of crude oil, 1,055,000 litres of Automotive Gas Oil and 2,000 litres of Dual Purpose Kerosine, one AK47 rifle and arrested 19 suspected economic saboteurs.
“All recovered items and apprehended suspects have been handed over to the appropriate authority for further action.
“It is worth mentioning that the sum of N810.9 million only were denied the oil thieves,” he said.
Danmadami said the air component of Operation Delta Safe conducted an air interdiction operation over Okomabio and bombarded several illegal refining pieces of equipment and sites to deter oil thieves operating in the region.
In the South East, he said troops and other security agencies had sustained their offensive against the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra/Eastern Security Network criminals.
Danmadami said the troops neutralised seven IPOB/ESN criminals, apprehended six and recovered several caches of arms and ammunition.