JTF foiled 313 cases of pipeline vandalism in N/Delta —Commander

The Joint Task Force (JTF) code named Operation Delta Safe (OPDS) said it has averted 313 sabotage attempts on major crude oil export pipelines in the Niger Delta region from January to September 2019.

Rear Admiral Akinjide Akinrinade, commander of the joint military force deployed to protect oil installations in the Niger Delta stated this during the flag off of Operation Safety Check 6, in Alakiri camp in Okrika Local Government Area of Rivers State.

According to the commander of Operation Delta Safe, the pipelines targeted by vandals are the Trans Niger Delta, Trans Escravos and Trans Ramos lines operated by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and Chevron.

He noted that the Operation Safety Check 6 is aimed at stepping up the tempo of operation as the year gradually comes to an end.

Akinjide explained that several illegal crude refining camps were also destroyed, a development which he said had reduced the operations of oil thieves and pipeline vandals in areas under his watch.

The commander further said that it is also aimed at sustaining the successes recorded so far and improve on operational efforts in order to deny criminal elements the space within the joint task force area.

He said: “It will be recalled that Operation Delta Safe successfully conducted Safety Checks 1-5 with tremendous achievements.

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“Safety Check 5 which was conducted from  March 19 to September 9, 2019 resulted in the arrest of about 553 suspects, destruction of 988 illegal refineries and 15 militants and pirates’ camps.

“Also, OPDS impounded items used to facilitate economic crimes, which include 22 vessels, 42 barges, 210 outboard motor engines and 410 other kinds  of boats.

“Additionally, OPDS arrested 56 tanker trucks and 313 other vehicles.  Statistics available reveals that OPDS averted over 313 infractions on Trans Niger, Trans Ramos and Trans Escravos Pipeline which is 71.6 per cent of the total attempts made on pipelines between January and September 2019.”

Akinrinade urged the people to always engage themselves in legitimate business, and avoid illegality, which he says does not pay.

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