By Samuel Oyadongha
Yenagoa—Operatives of the Joint Task Force, codenamed Operation Pulo Shield, have impounded 20 wooden barges and five fibre boats conveying suspected stolen crude oil estimated to be about 213,000 litres, in the creeks of the Niger Delta.
Also, seven suspects are currently being interrogated over their alleged involvement in crude oil theft.
JTF spokesman, Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, yesterday in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, said that the arrests were made by troops of 29 and 5 Battalions of Sector 2 anti-illegal oil bunkering patrol squads.
Nwachukwu said that the barges and two pumping machines were intercepted in Bodo West, Rivers State, and Azagbene creek in Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
He said during the operation, the troops also uncovered and scuttled two illegal oil refinery sites concealed in the woods in Biara farmland in Akpor Gokana Local Government Area and Ajudaigbo general area in Warri South Local Government Areas of Rivers and Delta states, respectively.
He said: “Eighteen surface tanks, 11 drums, four Plastic tanks, two pumping machines and hoses of various sizes and lengths were scuttled during the clamp down,” adding that in a similar operation, troops of 222 Battalion of Sector 1 of the JTF deployed in Kokori flow station in Delta State, also arrested three suspects for illegally siphoning crude oil from Well Head 14 flow station into a truck.”