Troops arrest 17 oil thieves, rescue 39 abductees

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By Emmanuel Obisue

Nigerian troops have arrested 17 perpetrators of oil theft and rescued 39 kidnapped hostages in the oil-rich Niger Delta region.

This was contained in a statement issued at the weekend by Major General Edward Buba, Director of Defence Media Operations over the weekend.

“Troops denied the oil theft of the estimated sum of One Hundred and Fifty Nine Million Six Hundred and Fifty Two Thousand Six Hundred and Twenty Naira (N159,652,620.00) only.

“Troops in the Niger Delta area destroyed 20 dugout pits, 29 boats, 31 storage tanks, one tricycle and 3 vehicles. Other items recovered incl 24 cooking ovens, 3 pump machines, and 25 illegal refining sites. Troops recovered 315,700 litres of stolen crude oil, 1,200 litres of illegally refined AGO and 3,158 litres of DPK,” he said.

“The breakdown of weapons and other items recovered are as follows: 11 AK47 rifles, one FN rifles, 2 pump action guns, 8 locally fabricated guns, 11 dane guns, 2 locally fabricated pistols, one macarrol pistol, one berretta pistol, one fabricated SMG, one locally made mortar with one empty bomb, 4 IEDs, 17 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, 592 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 4 rounds of 7.5mm ammo, one round of 9mm ammo and 36 live cartridges.

“Others are: 18 empty cases of 7.62mm special, 2 bandolier, 13 magazines, 6 vehicles, 21 mobile phones, 9 motorcycles, 15 bicycles, 2 tricycles, 5 boafeng HH radios and the sum of N1,601,370.00 amongst other items,” the statement added.