Army, NSCDC, TANTITA Operatives Intensify Operations Against Oil Thieves, Bust More Illegal Refineries

By Mohammed Bello Doka

In a bid to combat the criminals sabotaging Nigeria's oil sector, the Nigerian Army, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corp (NSCDC), and TANTITA Security have joined forces to intensify their fight against oil theft in Southern Nigeria. Their recent operations have led to major breakthroughs, as illegal refineries were uncovered and destroyed.

On Thursday, September 7, 2023, troops from the 34 Artillery Brigade made a significant discovery in Egbema West, Ohaji Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State. They successfully shut down an illegal refining site that contained 44 drum ovens, three reservoirs with an estimated capacity of 30,000 liters of illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil (AGO), and 53 sacks of AGO.
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The troops did not stop there. They also collaborated with the members of the NSCDC and TANTITA Security Services to destroy four active illegal refining camps in Opumami Community, Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State. Their operation resulted in the destruction of three wooden boats, six ovens, six reservoirs, 11 drums filled with illegally refined AGO, one large reservoir filled with stolen crude oil, 38 sacks of stolen crude oil, and two tapping hoses.

Simultaneously, the fight against terrorism and insurgency in North East Nigeria was intensified. On the same day, combined troops from the 192 Battalion, 26 Task Force Brigade Garrison, and the Hybrid Force conducted offensive operations in Gobara, Ambaga, and Madachi areas of Gwoza Local Government Areas in Borno State. During these operations, they neutralized three Boko Haram Terrorists (BHT) and confiscated one AK 47 rifle, one Beretta Pistol, 17 rounds of 7.62mm Special Ammunition, four rounds of 9 mm Ammunition, and a Dane Gun.
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In another successful operation along the Biu-Maiduguri road, combined troops from the 231 Battalion and 331 Artillery Regiment intercepted five BHT logistics suppliers. They recovered two vehicles loaded with stolen goods, including 20 bags of maize, 11 bags of soya beans, 11 bags of biscuits, 14 bags of rice, 46 bags of corn flours, and a significant sum of Three Million, One Hundred and Eighty-Six Thousand Naira (#3,186,000). The suspects are currently under custody and are assisting with further investigations.

The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja, commended the troops for their high level of resoluteness and alertness during these operations. He urged them to sustain the momentum and ensure that remnants of terrorists and oil thieves in their areas of responsibility are completely eradicated.

With these intensified efforts, the fight against oil theft and terrorism in Nigeria continues to make significant progress.

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