By Samuel Oyadongha
Yenagoa — Soldiers attached to the Joint Task Force, code named Operation Pulo Shield, have destroyed 134 illegal oil refining camps in the creeks of Bayelsa State in the ongoing campaign against oil theft in the region.
The Coordinator, Joint Media Centre of the JTF, Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, yesterday, in Yenagoa, said the camps were uncovered and destroyed during a week-long anti-oil theft operation launched by operatives of the task force in the deep swamp of the state.
He said: “In Bayelsa State, anti-oil theft patrol team of 343 Regiment operating in the Sector 2 area of responsibility of the JTF, has uncovered and cracked down on 134 illegal crude oil distillation camps.
The patrol team also scuttled 34 Cotonou boats, 36 pumping machines and 12 illegal oil dumps used by oil thieves in Igbomatoru, Oyeregbene, Lasukugbene, Mbikiba and Ewesusho communities, in Southern Ijaw, Brass and Nembe Local Government Areas of Bayelsa State.
”Some of the camps were being regenerated by the oil thieves before the crackdown.
A locally fabricated steel barge containing product suspected to be illegally distilled Automated Gas Oil, AGO, was also intercepted by the patrol team around Nembe 2 flow station. The barge has been towed to Nembe 1 flow station for safe custody.”
Col Nwachukwu also disclosed that in Rivers State, a wooden barge and two wooden boats conveying unascertained quantity of adulterated AGO were rounded up by troops of 29 Battalion patrolling the water ways of Alakri-Okirika axis in Okirika Local Government Area.