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Troops recover stolen crude oil worth N2.6 Billion in South-South region

Military operations yield significant seizures and arrests amidst ongoing efforts to combat oil theft and insurgency

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The Defense Headquarters announced on Friday that troops deployed in the South-South region of Nigeria had successfully recovered stolen crude oil and related products valued at N2.6 billion. The operations, conducted between January 27 and February 16, resulted in the confiscation of large quantities of stolen resources and the apprehension of numerous suspects involved in illegal activities.

According to Maj. Gen. Edward Buba, Director of Defense Media Operations, the seized items include 3,282,250 litres of stolen crude oil, 224,050 litres of illegally refined AGO, and 5,925 litres of DPK. Additionally, troops uncovered and dismantled 131 dugout pits, 67 illegal refining sites, and 125 storage tanks used for illegal activities. A total of 104 suspected oil thieves were also arrested during the operations.

The statement highlighted the grave economic consequences of oil theft, which continues to undermine Nigeria’s growth prospects and the profitability of oil companies. Ogbonnaya Orji, Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, revealed that over N4.3 trillion worth of crude oil had been stolen through pipeline vandalism over a five-year period.

In addition to combating oil theft, Nigerian troops have been engaged in operations against insurgency and terrorism. Buba reported that 254 terrorists had been neutralized, 264 arrested, and 73 kidnapped hostages rescued during the period under review. The military also seized a significant cache of weapons and ammunition, including assault rifles, grenades, improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and assorted firearms.

The recovered arsenal comprises 131 AK47 rifles, 2 FN rifles, 2 G3 rifles, and a variety of locally fabricated guns and pistols. Alongside the weapons, troops confiscated thousands of rounds of ammunition, explosives, vehicles, motorcycles, communication devices, and substantial sums of cash.

The latest operations underscore the Nigerian military’s commitment to maintaining security and combating criminal activities across various regions of the country. As threats persist, ongoing efforts remain crucial to safeguarding national interests and restoring stability in volatile areas plagued by insurgency and economic sabotage.

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