CHINEDU WOSU, Yenagoa
The operatives of Joint Military Task Force, JTF, codenamed Operation Pulo Shield in Niger Delta has nabbed a notorious kidnapper’s kingpin, Presley Umokoro, and 26 others for kidnapping, piracy and illegal oil bunkering.
JTF said Mr. Umokoro, who was first at large, was eventually arrested in connection with the kidnap of one Mrs. Ufoma James.
The suspect, the command said, was arrested at Oghara in Ethiope West Local Government Area of Delta State. The suspect is in custody of the Task Force for further investigation.
Other arrested suspects include Chika Obi, Nasiru Abu, Roland Ovboiebo, Toju Popo and Bello Ismaila.
Spokesman of JTF and Coordinator, Joint Media Campaign Centre, Lt Col Isa Ado, said the suspects were arrested along Ughelli–Warri and Orerokpe Community in Okpe and Ughelli North Local Government Areas of Delta State.
He also said items recovered from the suspects included rolls of stolen armored cable, two circuit breakers, 12 cutouts and two saw blades. Other items are bags of substances
Lt Col Ado said Sector 1 Anti-illegal oil bunkering Squad of the command deployed to Oka pipeline in Ikpoba Okha Local Government Area of Edo State discovered those connected to an illegal oil bunkering truck with registration number EDO BEN 117 ZN loaded with 16 plastic tanks of 1,500 litres capacity each loaded with illegally refined Automated Gas Oil (AGO).
The products estimated to be about 24,000 litres were suspected to have been illegally siphoned from the NNPC pipeline, saying the vandals had fled prior to the arrival of the troops.
He said the nabbed suspects were now in the custody of JTF for preliminary investigation before handing them over to prosecuting agency.
The Sector also apprehended an illegal oil bunkering tanker ladden with 33,000 litres of substances suspected to be illegally refined AGO.
According to Lt Col Ado, the impounded trucks with its contents and the suspects are in custody of the JTF for further action as suspect is in custody of the Task Force for further investigation.
Similarly, Sector 2 of the JTF operating along Gbenekrukru general area of Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State destroyed six illegal bunkering sites where oil thieves operats with four storage tanks.
Other items recovered included illegal oil storage pits and drums filled with illegally-acquired AGO hoses and pumping machine.
The items and the sites were destroyed in line with the JTF mandate in the region.