Nigerian Navy Special Boat Service commandos steer a RHIB
5 February, 2014
The liberation of three Indian nationals kidnapped in Equatorial Guinea by Nigerian defence and security forces which occurred recently, it has emerged, stemmed from a collaborative effort between personnel of the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Navy and the State Security Service operating under the auspices of the Joint Task Force in the Niger Delta.
These details were contained in a press statement made available to Beegeagle’s Blog and signed by the Media Coordinator of the Joint Task Force (OP PULO SHIELD), Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu. The statement reads:
“A combined crack squad of 130 Battalion of the Joint Task Force, the Nigerian Navy and the State Security Department in Rivers State, have rescued 3 Indians abducted by a gang of nine Kidnappers in Rivers state.
The Indians, Messrs. Kanishk Johrar, Mohinder Saini, and Balwinder Singh were abducted about a month ago on board a fishing trawler at Malabo and brought into the shores of Nigerian waters by the gang, which demanded a million dollar ransom.
“The combined security squad swung into action after tracking the abductors to their hide out at Abissa, a small fishing port in Akuku’ Toru, Local Government Area of Rivers State, arresting five suspects while others are still on the run.
“In a separate development, troops of 3, 19 and 195 Battalions of Sector 1 anti illegal oil bunkering squads of the Joint Task Force OPERATION PULO SHIELD have uncovered and scuttled 12 illegal oil distillation camps at Agbede forest, Obi-Ayagha and Otegele communities in Etsako West, Ugheli South and Warri South West Local Government Areas of Delta State.
During the clamp down, the troops uncovered 28 Cotonou boats, 24 underground storage tanks containing about 70,000 litres of illegally distilled Automotive Gas Oil , 547 steel drums, 5 surface tanks, 22 plastic tanks all filled with suspected illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil (AGO).
Other items discovered include 5 speedboats loaded with 150 drums of illegally refined AGO, 47 fabricated steel pots and 37 ovens used for cooking illegally sourced crude oil. Ten suspects nabbed during the operation are currently in the headquarters for further investigations.
“Seven other suspects were also arrested by the troops for pipeline vandalism and oil related crimes. Four of the suspects were apprehended for vandalizing a pipeline belonging to PPMC at Okuejeba, while three others were arrested along Chanomi Creek in Warri South West for indulging in acts of pipeline vandalism in the area. The suspects are in custody of 3 and 19 Battalions for preliminary investigations before they will be handed over to appropriate prosecuting agencies.
“In similar operations, troops of 29 Battalion and 343 Regiment of Sector 2 anti oil theft squads of the JTF conducting pipeline patrols along Brass-Tebidada Agip pipeline have scuttled illegal oil distillation camps along Alakari general area and Lasukugbene community in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa state.
“In the 10-day anti illegal oil bunkering operations, the troops employed swamp buggies to destroy emerging illegal oil refineries, scuttling 29 illegal oil bunkering cooking points, and surface tanks situated near a Well Head “Alake 008” at Alakiri general area.
The troops also discovered and scuttled one wooden boat, 6 illegal crude oil dumps and 20 metal drums containing illegally refined AGO.
During the anti oil theft operations, which lasted from 20 January – 2 February 2014, seventeen suspects were arrested for oil theft related offences and are currently undergoing preliminary investigations before they will be handed over to relevant prosecuting agencies for prosecution”