This is contained in a statement by the JTF Media Coordinator, Lt.-Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, in Yenagoa, on Tuesday.
Nwachukwu said the raids were carried out between July 26 and August 9, on land and maritime locations in Rivers, Bayelsa and Delta states. He said five of the suspects were arrested while siphoning oil from pipelines in Otokomabie Creek in Rivers.
He said, “Troops of the 146 Battalion of Sector 2 of the JTF, deployed in Bonny Island, intercepted the suspects on the Trans-Niger Pipeline, where PPMC and SPDC pipelines are laid. The suspects were arrested with three fibre speedboats and three barges with which they carried out their illicit activities.
“In another development, youths of Ogala Community in the Okirika Local Government Area of Rivers State, facilitated the arrest of a truck used for illegal bunkering activities. The truck, laden with illegally-sourced crude oil was reported to JTF land patrols, which promptly swung into action and impounded the vehicle.”
He said JTF troops, on patrol on waterways in Mbikiba and Lagosbene in the Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, raided and destroyed 11 illegal crude oil distilleries.
The spokesman said the team also destroyed seven open wooden boats used by the oil thieves.
Information from Punch was used in this report.