JOINT military team deployed to protect the Niger Delta yesterday said six suspected vandals and pirates were arrested in multiple operations in April.
The team said in a statement signed by its spokesperson, Col. Isa Ado, in Yenagoa that its men recovered arms in the operations.
The statement said troops deployed in Ohaji/Oguta Local Government Area in Imo on April 7 recovered an automatic rifle with one magazine loaded with 14 rounds of 5.5mm ammunition. It said the troops also recovered two locally made single barrel guns and a pistol.
“Following a tip-off on April 20, the troops in conjunction with the Nigeria Pipeline Development Company and the Directorate of State Services recovered a lorry suspected to be carrying crude oil.
“Our troops also arrested three suspected pipeline vandals on April 22 in connection with the vandalised Nigerian Agip Oil Company pipeline in Kwale, Ndokwa Local Government of Delta.
“One of the suspects, a member of the local vigilance group, confessed to receiving gratification from other suspects to allow them access to the company’s pipelines,’’ the statement said.
It added that the items recovered from the suspects included two oxygen cylinders, two cutting nozzles, welding hoses and cell phones.
Other items recovered included six hack saw blades, an axe, cutlass and hacksaw frames.
The statement further said suspects were in the custody of the team for preliminary investigation before being handed over to the prosecuting agency