NEDU MARK, Yenagoa
Operatives of the Joint Military Taskforce (JTF), in the Niger Delta Region have apprehended eight suspected oil thieves along with five cultists in the region.
In a statement, Wednesday, in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa state capital, the JTF said among the arrested suspects include eight oil thieves and five cultists terrorizing communities in the region.
The command also impounded illegal oil bunkering barge laden with 1000 metric tonnes of illegally acquired automated gas oil along the river Santa Barbara in Rivers State
The notorious suspects, JTF said, were on board the seized barge when they were arrested , adding that the suspects are in custody of the Operation Pulo Shield, its code name.
Media Coordinator and spokesman of the command, Lt Col Isa Ado said another ocean going vessel was also arrested by troops in Sector 1 along Forcados Estuary in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State.
The vessel christened MT ASKJA is currently secured at Yokri in Warri South West LGA of Delta State for preliminary investigation.
Troops also arrested illegal oil bunkerers in Burutu LGA of Delta State with unspecified drums of stolen crude oil.
The command gave their names as Mercy Akpamo and Bonky Victor, Elvis Ogbeni, Lucky Akporoboro, Pius Oyibotha and Magret Akporoboro were also arrested with an illegal bunkering tanker with registration number Lagos XZ 843 AAA, pumping machine and a hose at Orogun Community in Ughelli North LGA.
The suspects are in custody of OPPS for preliminary investigations.
JTF equally said its operatives are holding five suspected cultists were also arrested in Aseomuku Community in Ndokwa East LGA with a locally-made gun, machetes, axes and 10 live cartridges of 7.62 mm special.
Troops in Sector 2 also carried out operations at Elechi and Nembe water side of Bayelsa State where several illegal distillery camps were destroyed along with a Mercedes Van with registration number DW 68 PH loaded with drums of AGO suspected to be stolen.
“A wooden barge and boats loaded with stolen crude were also intercepted and destroyed along new Calabar River. No arrest was made as the suspects fled on sighting the troops,” said the JTF.