Troops Crack Down on Oil Theft, Arrest Suspected IPOB/ESN Members

Troops of Operation DELTA SAFE have maintained their vigilance against crude oil theft and criminal activities in the Delta and Akwa Ibom States.

Major General Edward Buba, the Director of Defence Media Operations, provided an update on the successful operations conducted by troops today at Defence Headquarter, Abuja, during a bi-weekly press briefing.

He said the operations focused on curbing crude oil theft and apprehending suspected members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Eastern Security Network (ESN).

“The troops destroyed 53 illegal refining sites, 54 dugout pits, 66 boats, 138 storage tanks, 253 cooking ovens, 2 pumping machines, 8 speedboats, 17 hoses, 18 drums, 2 cylinders.

“Troops recovered 983,350 liters of stolen crude oil, 144,980 liters of illegally refined AGO, and 71,650 liters of DPK.19 suspected oil thieves were apprehended.

“On October 2, 2023, troops responded to a distress call in Okpe LGA, Delta State, engaging criminals in a firefight and neutralizing one while others fled. One locally fabricated rifle and one torchlight were recovered”, He said.

Maj.Gen. Edward further explained that on the same date, troops responded to an attack on NSCDC personnel in Nsit Ubium LGA, Akwa Ibom State, rescuing three NSCDC personnel and recovering two vehicles.

“Operation UDO KA Targets IPOB/ESN SuspectsOperation UDO KA conducted snap operations in Ebonyi and Imo States, with notable accomplishments:Arrest of suspected IPOB/ESN members in Ikwo and Okigwe LGAs.

“Troops conducted fighting patrols in Orsu and Okigwe LGAs, leading to the arrest of terrorists and the recovery of arms and ammunition.On October 2, 2023, troops arrested one suspected IPOB/ESN criminal in Ikwo LGA, Ebonyi State, and recovered explosive materials and a motorcycle.

“On October 6, 2023, troops, based on intelligence, arrested three suspected IPOB/ESN members in a truck in Okigwe LGA, Imo State, revealing their involvement in transporting IED materials and weapons to IPOB/ESN camps.

“On October 5, 2023, fighting patrols in Orsu and Okigwe LGAs resulted in the arrest of two criminals, recovery of weapons and explosives, and various other items”, He added.

“All arrested suspects, recovered items, and rescued hostages have been handed over to the relevant authorities for further action. These successful operations demonstrate the commitment of the Nigerian military to maintaining security and combating criminal activities in the region”, He Concluded.