23 June, 2013
Troops of 3 Battalion, 130 Battalion and 146 Battalion have, in a series of raids conducted across Delta, Edo and Rivers states, scuttled the operations of several illegal oil distillation camps and bunkerers, arresting a total of 13 suspects and intercepting 30 boats in the aftermath.
These details were contained in a press release made available to Beegeagle’s Blog earlier today and signed by the Media Coordinator, JTF – Operation Pulo Shield, Lieutenant Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu. The statement reads:
Operatives of the Joint Task Force “OPERATION PULO SHIELD deployed in 3 Battalion of Sector 1 of the JTF has arrested three suspects running 3 illegal oil distillery camps in Opumani Gbekebor, Benneth Island of Warri South Local Government Area of Delta state and Agbede forest in Edo state.
The suspects, arrested during an anti illegal oil bunkering operation with 4 metal tanks, 236 drums and 13 pumping machines at the illegal oil distillation sites. Five dugout pits used by the oil theft suspects to store stolen crude oil at the illegal distillation camps were also sealed up by the troops. The three suspects, Samson Kristo, Lawrence Pius and Powede Clerk who were arrested in the operation are helping in preliminary investigations at the Headquarters 3 Battalion before they will be handed over to the appropriate prosecuting agency.
During the operation, the troops also intercepted twenty seven open boats used by oil thieves to convey illegally distilled products along Chanomi West in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta state.
“In a separate operation, JTF troops deployed at Sanbarth have arrested two suspects who specialize in vandalizing oil pipelines along Kalamabo and Opukula Communities in Akuku Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State. The culprits Mssrs. Fineface Shedrack and Solomon Doutimiti who were arrested by troops of 130 Battalion of Sector 2 after three nights of lying in ambush were arrested for serial pipeline vandalism and illegal oil distillation activities around the area. The suspects were hacking into Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) pipelines located in the said community when they were nabbed.
The Commanding Officer who conducted the operation Lt Col Caius Baushe has called on SPDC to conduct an assessment exercise on the pipeline, noting that the level of excavation and possible touch on the pipeline cannot be ascertained due to high tide that covered the entire area. Items including an open boat containing pipe hacking equipment were recovered from the suspects.
“Meanwhile, troops of 146 Battalion of Sector 2 of the JTF have arrested eight persons in connection with the recent fire outbreak on an SPDC pipeline in Bodo West of Gokana Local Government Area of Rivers State. The troops who sighted the fire at about 1.30 am on Wednesday mobilized to the scene where they found the 8 people in 2 tug boats. During the interrogation, they claimed to be employees of Steve integrated Technical Service and Sege Marine hired by Shell Petroleum Development Company to fix broken pipelines in Bodo.
“The suspects are currently in Sector 2 Headquarters for preliminary investigations. They will be handed over to an appropriate prosecuting agency if found culpable at the end of the investigations.”