#Soldiers arrest 567 suspects in South-South in 2021


The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) said soldiers on internal security operations in the Niger Delta region recorded tremendous successes with the arrest of 567 suspected criminals in the outgoing year.

The soldiers under the auspices of Joint Task Force South-South Operation Delta Safe (OPDS), demobilised 1,423 illegal oil refining sites, 4,929 storage facilities and 536 large wooden boats, popularly called ‘Cotonou boats, 13 ships laden with crude oil cargo, 9 barges and arrested 137 trucks and other types of vehicles conveying illegally refined products.

Acting Director Defence Media Operations, Major General Benard Onyeuko, made this known in as statement issued in Abuja on the achievements of the joint task operations between January and December, 2021.

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Onyeuko, while noting that the Joint Task Force conducted both kinetic and non-kinetic operations within its large area of jurisdiction spanning the entire Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Edo, Anambra, Imo, Abia, Akwa Ibom Cross River States, said the terrain of the joint operation area was swampy, water-logged and crisscrossed by a network of rivers and creeks. He said due to the nature of the terrain  and the need to reduce fatigue on troops, most of the operations were intelligence-driven.

To effectively tackle the security challenges in the area, Onyeuko, said the OPDS was made into a multi-agency organisation comprising elements drawn from 12 different security agencies which are NA, NN, NAF, DIA, NPF, DSS, NSCDC, NCS, NIS, NCoS, NDLEA and EFCC.

He listed some of its activities to include protection of oil and gas facilities, anti-crude oil theft operations and clearance of militants’/irates’ Camps as well as non-kinetic conflicts resolution.


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