Authorities of the military operations in the Niger Delta Region known as Operation Pulo Shield (OPS) has confirmed the arrests of 1,610 suspects over their alleged involvement in cases of sea piracy, illegal bunkering and militancy within the nine states of the Niger Delta region.
According to the OPS, the special security operation also led to the seizure of 50 oil vessels, 200 barges and recovery of high calibre weapons during raids of suspected militia camps in the region.
The Commander of the OPS, Major General Alani Okunlola, represented by the coordinator of the joint media campaign centre (JMCC), Col. Isa Ado, said the arrests of suspects and seizure of the oil vessels were part of the sustained aggressive operation against oil related crimes and the zero tolerance of the current military leadership to oil theft and illegal oil bunkering.
Ado said the security operation, which was intensified from September 2nd 2015 on assumption of the OPS command by Major a general Okunlola, led to the arrest of the suspects including the invasion of kidnappers’ den and militia camps.
At the various security operations against the den of kidnappers in Edo, Delta,Bayelsa and Rivers states, the military rescued victims including one kidnapped from the Okhuaihie Community in Uhumhode local government area of Edo State, Mr.Julius Omoregie.
According to the OPS, the invasion of a militant camp located at Benigboye community in Burutu local government area of Delta State led to the recovery of high calibre weapons including Machine guns, Ak 47 rifles, IEDs, detonating cords and live cartridges of different calibre.
According to the OPS, ‘‘One Gege Esua and Tombia Guyman were arrested by troops of the Joint Force along Letugbene Tune axis of Ekeremor Local Government in Bayelsa over their alleged involvement in the attack on troop’s gunboat early in the year. Two bunkering kingpins were also arrested in Gbarain Community of Bayelsa.”