Soldiers from 3 Battalion, Effurun Barracks, near Warri, Delta State, weekend, destroyed no fewer than 2,000 unlawful refineries and refined products in the state.
They also arrested three persons at Ajudaibo, Warri South-West Local Government Area of the state, for gun running, while a suspected crude-oil kingpin, popularly known as AK 47, is on the run.
Eight welding machines, 30 operating huts, several Cotonou boats, 10 generating sets, three speedboats, unquantifiable GP tanks and drums, allegedly used by crude oil thieves, were destroyed in the operation.
In the operation that lasted seven hours, the soldiers stormed the Ajudiabo home of a suspected major crude oil thief, where five loaded magazines and 204 live ammunition were found inside the ceiling in his kitchen.
The kingpin, AK 47, reportedly fled when he sighted the soldiers, who came in four speedboats, but his girlfriend and two others were arrested.
Commanding Officer of the Battallion, Lt. Col. Ifeanyi Otu, told reporters at the end of the operation: “The operation is massive. A large number of Cotonou boats and GP tanks were destroyed along with an unquantifiable amount of refined products.
The implication is that the oil thieves seem not deterred by our resolve, but I think the destruction method is working as their operation is being destroyed.”