24 November, 2013
Troops of the Joint Task Force – OP PULO SHIELD have shut down an emerging militant camp near the Bakassi Peninsula from which sundry acts of criminality which include pirate attacks and kidnapping for ransom were also being perpetrated. In a related development, troops of the 343 Regiment, 3 Battalion, 19 Battalion, 29 Battalion and 146 Battalion active in the Sectors 1 and 2 areas of responsibility also scuttled 59 illegal oil distillation camps, impounding 4 barges and 16 giant bunkering boats (Cotonou boats) in the process.
These details were contained in a press release made available to Beegeagle’s Blog this morning and signed by the Media Coordinator of the Joint Task Force – OP PULO SHIELD, Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu. The statement reads:
“Troops of Sector 3 of the Joint Task Force, Operation Pulo Shield have uncovered and clamped down an emerging militant camp in the Bakassi Local government area of Cross River state. The camp, known in that area as Efut Esighi militant camp, served as a firm base for sea robbers and kidnappers from where they usually fan out to launch attacks on unsuspecting victims.
During the clampdown, the troops recovered 24 x 7.62mm round cartons, 5 Browning Machine Gun ammunition, 3 x 7.62mm round special and 7 live cartridges. Other items recovered from the camp include, 4 machine gun belts and 1 Passport fibre boat belonging to the Inland Waterways Agency.
“In the Sector 1 area of responsibility of the JTF, troops of 3 and 19 Battalions covering Edo and Delta states, have scuttled 3 illegal crude oil distillation camps concealed in a forest at Agbede village and Egwua 2 general area of Esako West and Warri South West Local Government Areas of Edo and Delta States respectively. Items including 7 steel surface tanks, 7 locally fabricated ovens used for heating up stolen crude oil, 235 metal drums and 4 dug out pits containing stolen crude oil were also scuttled during the operation.
” In a similar operation carried out in Sector 2 area of responsibility of the JTF overseeing Bayelsa and Rivers states, troops of 343 Regiment, 146 and 29 Battalions have shut down 56 illegal crude oil distillation camps and scuttled 16 Cotonou boats, 22 pumping machines, 1 power generator, 25 zinc plates used for fabricating local crude oil distillers, 1 welding machine and 32 sawed pipes used by oil thieves. The clampdown was carried out during recent anti oil theft patrols of the waterways of Bonny, Kporghor, Igbematoro and Lasukugbene communities in Bonny, Tai and Southern Ijaw Local Government Areas of Rivers and Bayelsa states respectively. The troops also impounded 4 metal barges and a speed boat caught engaging in illegal oil bunkering activities.
During the anti oil theft operations which lasted from 11 – 22 November 2013, seven suspects were arrested for oil theft related offences and are currently undergoing preliminary investigations before they will be handed over to relevant prosecuting agencies. “