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Troops arrested 567 criminals in South-South in 2021 – DHQ

The Defence Headquarters says the troops of the Joint Task Force South-South Operation Delta Safe (OPDS) arrested 567 criminal suspects in connection with various crimes…

The Defence Headquarters says the troops of the Joint Task Force South-South Operation Delta Safe (OPDS) arrested 567 criminal suspects in connection with various crimes in the South-South zone of the country during the outgoing year 2021.

The Military High Command through the Acting Directior, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. Benard Onyeuko, explained that the Joint Task Force in the zone conducted both kinetic and non-kinetic operations within its large JOA spanning the entire Delta, Bayelsa and Rivers States.

Onyeuko, in a statement, also listed Ondo, Edo, Anambra, Imo, Abia, Akwa Ibom and the Cross River States as other places where the operations were carried out.

He lamented that the terrain where the Joint Operation was carried was swampy, water-logged and crisscrossed by a network of rivers and creeks, adding that due to the nature of the terrain and the need to reduce fatigue on troops, operations were mostly intelligence-driven.

He said, “To effectively tackle the security challenges in the area, the OPDS is 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.

“The JTF leverages capabilities as well as information generated and shared by the aforementioned agencies in conducting operations aimed at attaining the JF’s mandate. OPDS has conducted a wide range of operational activities within the period under review and has achieved successes,” he said.

The senior military officer added that some of these activities include protection of Oil and Gas Facilities, Anti-Crude Oil Theft Operations and Clearance of Militants’/Pirates’ Camps as well as non-kinetic conflicts resolution.

He noted, “The anti-Crude Oil Theft (COT) efforts of the JF during the period in consideration has led to the demobilization of about 1,423 illegal oil refining sites (each of which contains many camps), over 4,929 storage facilities and 536 large wooden boats, popularly called ‘Cotonou boats’ among others.”

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