SAN FRANCISCO, August 30, (THEWILL) – The Nigerian Army has moved more military to the oil rich Niger Delta saying it wants to flush out criminals in a bid to strengthen the ongoing Operation Crocodile Smile.
THEWILL gathered that a Main Battle Tank, two Mine-Resistant, Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles and three Scorpion Tanks from the Headquarters of Nigerian Armour Corps manned by battle-ready personnel have been seen in the creeks and on streets of Niger Delta states.
Meanwhile, the troops have arrested several suspects in the region and have destroyed two illegal refineries.
According to the Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Col. Sani Usman, 4 Brigade troops have raided hideouts of suspected criminal in Ajaosolo, Okogho, Opumani and Obodo.
“Following intelligence reports, the refineries were destroyed by the troops traversing Ayakoromo and Esaba water ways in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State,” he said.
“Troops also intercepted a suspected illegal oil bunkerer with 1 “Cotonou Boat” laden with crude oil, 3 X 40 Horse power Yamaha Speedboats and 5 X 200 Litres of illegally refined diesel oil.
“In a similar exercise near Bomadi town and Pendo and Tuomu in Bururtu Local Government Area of Delta State, two suspects, Mr. Tokolo Sawyer and Miss Showman Ebiere, were arrested at Loveth Plaza.
“Mr Kingsley Ebidimo and seven others with unidentified mission were also arrested at Pendo, allegedly carrying a substance believed to be Marijuana. Other items allegedly found on them include one axe, two cutting saw and a long iron bender.
“As part of the training, the troops have also been patroling waterways in the creeks and have recovered two Cotonou Boats and a 75 Horse Power Speedboat, 30 X 200 Litres plastic drums containing liquid suspected to be illegally refined crude oil in the creeks at Ovwahwa in Ughelli South Local Government Area.
“Three suspects – Messrs College Owahwa, Joseph Katte and Olisa Patrick – found around the vicinity have been arrested. They are being questioned. In addition to the training, troops are carrying out free medical outreaches at central area Sapele and near Olu of Warri, palace. The exercise continues.
Story by David Oputah