The Joint Task-force codenamed Operation Pulo Shield said it had uncovered the new tactics by oil thieves and illegal oil bunkerers operating in the Niger Delta region.
According to the JTF, they now bury stolen crude oil in traditional grounds, shrines, sitting rooms of a house and in septic tanks to avoid detections by security agencies.
The JTF in a statement signed by the coordinator of the Joint Media Campaign Centre of the task force, Lt. Col. Mustapha Anka, said its illegal oil bunkering squad uncovered the new tactics following the seizure of a 12,000-litre capacity sewage truck loaded with stolen crude.
The sewage truck, according to the JTF, was intercepted along Ibada Amukpe community in Sapele Local Government Area of Delta State.
“The sewage truck was said to be carrying waste and heading to dumpsite by the occupants but was discovered to be carrying illegal crude oil. Both the suspects and the product are in the custody of the JTF for preliminary investigation before handing them over to prosecuting agency.
Meanwhile, troops attached to the JTF launched an operation against alleged criminals in Bayelsa State and discovered one AK-47 assault rifle with registration number CK28817.
He said: “One foreign made double barrel gun and a locally fabricated single barrel with 12 live cartridges were also recovered. No arrest was made as the criminals escaped before the arrival of the troops.
“The weapons and the cartridges are in JTF custody while efforts are on to apprehend the criminals.” [Vanguard]