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Troops Rescue 5 Expatriates, Recover Stolen Crude Oil

The five foreign expatriates rescued by the troops. Credit: Defence Headquarters

Troops of Operation Delta Safe have rescued five expatriates that were kidnapped in Yellow Island, Rivers State.

The foreigners, comprising three Russians, one Ukrainian and one Equatorial Guinean, were said to have been abducted on May 9 by suspected pirates.

This was disclosed in a statement issued on Tuesday by the Coordinator of Defence Media Operations, Major-General John Enenche.

The defence spokesman said following credible intelligence, a joint team of the Forward Operating Base Bonny, Nigerian Navy Ship Pathfinder, and troops of 146 Battalion swiftly combed the creeks in search of the kidnapped victims.

“After a thorough search and rescue operation, the gallant troops raided 4 identified sea pirates/militants’ hideout at Ibiakafemo, Idinkiri, Tombie and Ogboma.

“The identified camps were subsequently destroyed to deny the pirates freedom of action. Consequently, on the early hours of 6 October 2020, the pirates/militants compelled by the ongoing operation surrendered to the gallant troops and handed over the 5 kidnapped foreign expatriates at Iwofe Waterfront.

“The 5 expatriates comprising 3 Russians, one Ukranian and one Equatorial Guinean are presently at NNS PATHFINDER medical centre receiving medical attention,” the statement partly read.

The joint team also “intercepted two large wooden boats laden with an estimated 350,000 litres of suspected stolen illegally refined AGO and about 10,000 litres of stolen crude oil.”

Enenche explained that the stolen petroleum products have been recovered to the base.

Meanwhile, the Military High Command has commended the gallant troops for their resilience, while encouraging them to sustain the tempo against what it described as the enemies of our country.