The Joint Task Force, JTF, Operation Restore Hope, (Operation Pulo Shield) has revealed that it destroyed about 6,000 illegal oil refineries and arrested more than 150 persons within the same period for their involvement in oil theft across the Niger Delta in 2011.
The spokesman of the task force, Lieutenant Colonel Timothy Antigha, told journalists in Port Harcourt at the weekend, adding that five ships and four barges used in the illicit act were seized.
Antigha handed seven suspected oil thieves and five truck-loads of petroleum products, over to the Rivers State command of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, for further appropriate actions as the briefing was going on.
He said: “We are gathered here today in order to transfer seven suspected oil thieves to the civil defence corps.
“The suspects were arrested with five trucks loaded with illegally refined petroleum products at Water Lines in Port Harcourt and Oyigbo Local Government Area. They are among the criminals that have been selling substandard petroleum products.
“The product they sell is not up to the NNPC’s standard. We took samples of the product to the DPR and it was confirmed that the products were of poor quality.”
He listed the names of the arrested oil theft suspects as Babayo Dauda, Ali Salisu, Mohammed Abdulahi, Bukar Alima, and Jeremiah Umaru, Ibrahim Abdulahi and Ikechukwu Ukaegbu.