The Joint Task Force (JTF) in the Niger Delta said on Sunday that it had dismantled a militant camp in the Bakassi Local Government Area of Cross River.
A statement by the media coordinator of the JTF, Lt.-Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, in Yenagoa, said that various arms were recovered from the camp.
“During the clamp down, the troops recovered five Browning machine guns and ammunition.
“Other items recovered from the camp include four machine gun belts and one passport fibre boat, belonging to the Inland Water Ways Agency,” JTF stated.
According to Nwachukwu, the camp known in local parlance as the Efut Esighi Militant Camp, served as operational base for pirates and militants from where they attacked their victims.
“JTF operatives destroyed three 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,” he said.
In a similar operation conducted in Bayelsa and Rivers sectors, JTF troops shut down 56 illegal crude oil distillation camps.
The troops destroyed 16 Cotonou boats, 22 pumping machines, a power generator, 25 zinc plates used for fabricating local crude oil distillers, a welding machine and sawed pipes used by oil thieves.
The troops also impounded four metal barges and a speed boat caught engaging in illegal oil bunkering activities in the operation which took place between 11 November and 22 November.
Nwachukwu stated further that seven suspects were arrested for oil theft-related offences and were currently undergoing preliminary investigations. [NAN]