Operation Pulo Shield, OPS, deployed to protect oil installations in the Niger Delta, Friday said its troops caught nine oil thieves ‘in the act’ in Delta.
The oil theft suspects were arrested at a pipeline within an oilfield operated by Mid Western Oil Company in Ugheli in Delta.
According to Lt.-Col. Isa Ado, Spokesman of Operation Pulo Shield, the anti-oil theft operation was carried out on October 17, 2015 following a tip off and credible information.
“The troops in Sector 1, 222 Battalion, Ughelli led by the Commanding Officer, Lt.-Col Matthew Oyekola patrolling Ozoro/ Owelogho in Isoko North LGA, Delta arrested nine oil thieves.
“They were trying to siphon crude oil from oil pipeline belonging to Mid Western Oil Company, Ugheli.
“The suspects were arrested along with a Volkswagen Passat car with registration number, IMO KGE 17 XD.
“They had prepared a bunkering site with valve and hoses to gain access to the oil company’s pipeline before loading crude to trucks and tankers at about 02:45 hrs on October 17, 2015,” Ado said.
Ado recalled that troops of the unit had seized several trucks and tankers without suspects in the past and attributed the feat to credible intelligence.
He said that preliminary investigations had shown that youths of the host community connived with the suspects by providing access to the pipeline.
OPPS appealed to oil communities to guide their youths against acts capable of sabotaging the economy of the nation and urged the Niger Delta people by giving useful information to the troops.
Ado, who assured that the operation, was a continuous exercise assured that Operation Pulo Shield would continue to carry out its operation professionally in line with its mandate.