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The Defence Headquarters on Thursday revealed that the troops of the Joint Task Force South-South Operation Delta Safe (OPDS) in the outgoing year 2021 recorded tremendous successes amongst which was the arrest of 567 suspects in connection with various crimes.
Africa Daily News, New York reports that this revelation was contained in a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja by the Acting Directior of Defence Media Operations, Brig-Gen Benard Onyeuko, while providing updates on the operational activities of the OPDS from January to December 2021, within the Joint Operations Area.
He disclosed that the Joint Task Force South-South of Operation Delta Safe conducted both kinetic and non-kinetic operations within its large JOA spanning the entire Delta, Bayelsa and Rivers States.
Others are the southern parts of Ondo, Edo, Anambra, Imo, Abia, Akwa Ibom and the Cross River States.
The directior who pointed out that the terrain of the Joint Operation Area was swampy, water-logged and crisscrossed by a network of rivers and creeks explained that due to the nature of the terrain and the need to reduce fatigue on troops, operations were mostly intelligence-driven.
According to him, ‘to effectively tackle the security challenges in the area, the OPDS is made into a multi-agency organisation comprising elements drawn from 12 different security agencies which are NA, NN, NAF, DIA, NPF, DSS, NSCDC, NCS, NIS, NCoS, NDLEA and EFCC.
‘The JTF leverages capabilities as well as information generated and shared by the aforementioned agencies in conducting operations aimed at attaining the JF’s mandate. OPDS has conducted a wide range of operational activities within the period under review and has achieved successes.’
He added that some of these activities include protection of Oil and Gas Facilities, Anti-Crude Oil Theft Operations and Clearance of Militants’/Pirates’ Camps as well as non-kinetic conflicts resolution.
According to him, ‘the anti-Crude Oil Theft (COT) efforts of the JF during the period in consideration has led to the demobilization of about 1,423 illegal oil refining sites (each of which contains many camps), over 4,929 storage facilities and 536 large wooden boats, popularly called ‘Cotonou boats’ among others.
‘Also, 13 ships laden with crude oil cargo, 9 barges, 137 trucks and other types of vehicles conveying illegally refined products were arrested. Additionally, about 40 million litres of crude oil and 67 million litres of illegally refined products mostly AGO were recovered from the criminals.’
He noted that in the process of conducting these operations, 567 suspects were arrested in connection with various crimes.
He added that the suspects and exhibits have all been handed over to the appropriate prosecuting agencies for prosecution while some of the arrested suspects have been convicted and others were still undergoing trials in various courts of law.
While commenting on clearance of Militants’/Pirates’ Camps, he explained that during the period in focus, the JF conducted several clearance operations.
AFRICA DAILY NEWS, NEW YORK