JTF foils kidnap attempt, arrests 5

Troops of the Joint Military Force (JTF) deployed to the Niger Delta Operation Delta Safe, have foiled a kidnap attempt, freed two victims and arrested five suspected militants in multiple operations, according to a statement.

The statement signed by Lt. Cdr. Thomas Otuji, Deputy Spokesman, JTF, issued on Friday in Yenagoa, stated that five suspected militants were arrested in the operations by several components of the force in the past 10 days.

Otuji attributed the successes recorded to distress calls from members of the public.

“Several illegal refineries were also destroyed during the operations. Troops immediately swung into action and rescued the victims.

“One Mrs. Vanessa Ilepi and Mrs. Tega Okoro were kidnapped at gunpoint at Amukpe community in Warri.

“Effort is ongoing to apprehend the suspected kidnappers who escaped.

“A locally made single barrel gun was recovered from the arrested suspected kidnapper,” he said.

Meanwhile, troops of Sector 1, Operation DELTA SAFE, have also raided and destroyed illegal refinery sites at Opumami and Okogho creeks in Warri, Otuji stated.

The spokesman stated that the operators of the illegal refinery abandoned the sites and fled on sighting the patrol boats.

He said that JTF members found and destroyed 16 cooking pots, two Cotonou boats filled with crude oil and four wooden shelters at the sites.

“Also one carton of 70 mm ammunition, three pumping machines, two deep freezers, one generator and a 55 Horsepower speed boat were found and destroyed at the site.”

According to him, troops on Oct. 4, also discovered and destroyed illegal bunkering sites along Bille creek, Bonny Local Government Area in River during a routine patrol.

He said that special boat services had been deployed to degrade and fish out elements of Bakassi Strike Force militants tormenting innocent citizens at Bakassi and Akpabuyo Local Government Areas in Cross River.

“Meanwhile, troops of Sector 4 of Operation DELTA SAFE, while on patrol, apprehended two suspected militants who stole two high-powered boats with outboard engines from boat operators.

“They were about selling the engines at Aqua Beach when our troops arrested the suspects and handed them to the Nigeria Police for further action.”

He further said that the troops had launched an operation at a hideout in Okon Mkpa Community of Efut Esighi, Bakassi Local Government Area of Cross River.

Otuji said that the operation was prompted by a tip-off indicating the presence of some militants in the area.

“Troops, in company of the special boat services, immediately raided the criminals’ hideouts and apprehended three suspected militants.

“The following items were recovered at the scene: a Toyota Camry vehicle belonging to one of the suspected militants, sentry duty rosters and 73 wraps of substance suspected to be Indian hemp.

“A book containing over 30 names of suspected militants’ nominal roll for the scheduled payment of allowances was also found in the car.

“Preliminary investigation to ascertain the names in the book has commenced,” he said.

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