Fifty three illegal refining sites have been discovered, with stolen products recovered just as 19 suspected oil thieves were arrested in one week.
The Defence Headquarters spokesperson Maj.-Gen. Edward Buba, disclosed this while briefing newsmen on the operations of the Armed Forces of Nigeria across the country on Thursday in Abuja.
Buba said the troops discovered and destroyed 54 dugout pits, 66 boats, 138 storage tanks, 253 cooking ovens, two pumping machines, eight speedboats, 17 hoses, 18 drums and two cylinders.
He said the troops also recovered 983,350 litres of stolen crude oil, 144,980 litres of illegally refined AGO and 71,650 litres of DPK.
“Troops also neutralised one criminal, rescued three hostages and recovered one fabricated rifle, 18 vehicles and one torchlight,” he said.
In South East, Buba said the troops of Operation UDO KA conducted a snap operation and arrested suspected IPOB/ESN in Ikwo and Okigwe Local Government Areas of Ebonyi and Imo states during the week.
He said the troops neutralised five terrorists, arrested 12 suspected criminals and rescued seven kidnapped hostages.
According to him: “Troops recovered two locally made guns, four rounds of 7.62 mm Special ammo, one FN rifle barrel, IED materials, 10 water gel explosives, three detonators, one detonating cord among others.
“All recovered items, arrested suspects and rescued hostages were handed over to the relevant authority for further action.”
The defence spokesperson said the military had uncovered and neutralised some of the criminal `safe havens’ across various theatres of operation.
He revealed that criminals used national parks, game reserves and forests across the country as their hideouts.
“The military has identified several of these `safe havens’ and operations are targeted towards ensuring that they are completely dismantled.
“Recently, one of such hideouts in the southeast was invaded by troops, and they found unspeakable and unprintable activities going on in the invaded camps.
“It goes to tell us that these extremists are cannibals, feasting on fellow human beings and conducting other forms of dastardly acts,” he said.