The military joint task force fighting oil theft and kidnapping in the Niger Delta has announced successes of its operations.  

Media Coordinator of the task force Lt. Col. Mustapha Anka, said in a statement in Yenagoa that raids in the last 10 days were to uphold its zero tolerance for illegal oil bunkering and criminality in the Niger Delta region.

He said the troops, while on pipeline patrol at Ijomu, Ethiope East Local Government Area of Delta, recovered two AK-47 rifles and two magazines loaded with 48 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition.

Anka added that operatives also sighted three men with a sack in the bush but they abandoned the sack and fled on sighting the troops. 

He also said the troops discovered an illegal oil refinery at Egbokodo Itshekiri General Area in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta, adding that items recovered included three locally made boats, one pumping machine and a water hose.

"Also discovered and destroyed were a speed boat and 16 Cotonou boats containing suspected stolen crude oil at Okpogbene Egwa General Area in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta," Anka said.

He said in another operation, troops discovered a house suspected to be used for storing illegally refined automotive gas oil at Oghareki waterside in Ethiope West Local Government Area.

"The troops arrested one suspect with 2,000 units of 50-litre jerry cans filled with suspected illegally refined AGO. The JTF also seized a white tanker with registration number XC 171 AJI which was filled with suspected illegally refined AGO on the Patani – Warri road,"  he said.

The spokesman said the truck was used to siphon crude oil from the Oghara – Iyede pipeline in Isoko North Local Government Area of Delta. 

He said the JTF, in conjunction with Agbara-Oto Vigilance Group, arrested three suspected kidnappers at Omavovwe Agbarho community in Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta.

According to him, an unregistered Nissan salon car was recovered from the suspects while the suspects and their vehicle were handed over to the police for further action.

He said troops also foiled an attempt by a group of suspected kidnappers to abduct a woman at Eko in Ethiope East Local Government Area of Delta.

"The rescue operation witnessed a gun duel that claimed the life of a suspect while others escaped. Items recovered included one Berretta pistol, a locally made short barrel gun and a mask. The corpse of the suspect and recovered items were handed over to the police at Isiokolo in Ethiope East Local Government Area of Delta," Anka said.