The Joint Task Force operating in the Niger Delta said on Thursday it impounded 700 boats, badges, vessels and trucks in nearly 3,000 operations in the area.
Commander of the 2 Brigade and Sector Two of the JTF, Brig.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, stated this to newsmen in Port Harcourt, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.
Buratai said the vessels, boats, badges and trucks were impounded because they were freighting illegally refined petroleum products to unknown destinations in the area.
He said the impounded vessels and arrested suspects had been handed over to the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps for prosecution.
The commander said JTF succeeded in the operation because of the complementary efforts of other security agencies operating in the area.
“In the past 11 months, the JTF has carried out close to 3,000 operations and impounded and destroyed close to 700 boats, badges, vessels and trucks involved in various acts of oil theft.
“We have joined hands with the various security agencies in Rivers and Bayelsa states to rid the states of criminals.
Our anti-kidnap operations have been very successful; we have arrested a number of criminals, kidnappers, armed robbers and arms and ammunitions have been recovered; the rate of armed robbery and kidnapping has drastically reduced.
“Security is very important; without security, development will be hampered and the JTF sector Two and Two brigade is up to the task and will continue to maintain the required security.
“I call on the general public to continue to give us timely information to enable us to continue the fight against these vices so that normal activities of law abiding citizens will be protected,” he said.
Buratai said the task force had intensified its efforts to stop oil theft, kidnapping and sundry crimes in the region.