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– Seventy-five persons have been arrested by the Nigerian Navy for allegedly taking part in oil bunkering
– Some of the suspects were arrested for militancy, kidnapping, impersonation and gun production
– The navy has also impounded 3 ships and 80 boats used for various illegal activities within the Niger Delta region The Nigeria Navy has arrested 75 persons suspected to be involved in illegal oil bunkering within the Niger Delta.
Among the suspects are also those who are involved in militancy, kidnapping, impersonation and gun production in Delta State and other parts of the region.
The Guardian reports that the navy uncovered the gun-manufacturing workshop that specialises in producing local pistols and rifles at Opuama in Ughelli South Council.
According to the report, the Navy also impounded three vessels and 80 boats loaded full of stolen crude oil.
They were nabbed in an Operation Delta Safe raid on militants. The Commander of NNS Delta, Commodore Joseph Djunve, while parading the suspects and the impounded vessels and boats at the NNS base in Warri yesterday said they were arrested in different parts of the Niger Delta, particularly in Delta State. He said the arrests were made in compliance with the directive of the Chief of Naval staff, who declared war on illegal oil bunkering, piracy and other criminal activities.
Commodore Djunve said different types of weapons were being fabricated at the workshop and that there was intelligence that they also used their equipment to rupture pipelines to steal petroleum products. A box full of all sorts of equipment used in the illicit act was paraded with the suspects at the Warri naval base.
One of the arrested gun manufacturers, who gave his name as Joseph Oba said he is a loyalist of the Farah Dagogo, a militant leader in Bayelsa State and that he was invited by some persons to join the gang without knowing what he was walking into.
In a similar vein, the military has announced that it killed not fewer than seven suspected militants in the Niger Delta region in the last seven days. Leadership quotes the spokesman of Joint Military Task Force in the Niger Delta, Operation Delta Safe Lieutenant-Commander Thomas Osuji as telling News Agency of Nigeria in Yenagoa, Bayelsa state that three suspects were also arrested.
Osuji said the suspected militants were killed by troops from Sector 4 of the Operation Delta Safe in conjunction with some local vigilantes at Parrot Island, Bakassi Local Government Area of Cross River. Also, he said that the troops rescued a boat carrying rice and some passengers that had been seized earlier by suspected members of a gang known as Bakassi Strike Force.