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Nigerian military rescues Chinese vessel, arrest 10 pirates

Crew of the rescued vessel

The Nigerian Military through the Nigerian Navy rescued Chinese Vessels ” MV HAILUFANG II” that was attacked by pirates off the Coast of Cote D’ Ivoire.

Speaking in Abuja on Thursday during a press briefing to review the Nigerian Military operations during the week, Codinator, Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche said the attack occurred on the 15th May hence the pirates took control of the vessel and directed the vessel towards Nigerian Waters.

He said the vessel had 18 crew members comprising Chinese, Ghanaians and Ivorians, however, the Nigerian Navy was alerted of the pirate attack and immediately, the Nigerian Navy Ship NGURU was dispatched to intercept the vessel.

He said that on interception of the vessel at about 140 nautical miles south of Lagos Fairway Buoy, the pirates refused to comply to the orders of the Nigerian Navy Ship, hence the Nigerian Navy had to conduct an opposed boarding of the vessel.

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Suspected Pirates

He noted that all the ship crew were safely rescued, while the 10 pirates were also arrested.

Enenche said that within the period under review, Operation Delta Safe Area located and dismantled illegal refining sites and a wooden boat with 3 coolers, 136 dugout pits, 201 surface metal storage tanks and 174 ovens laden with about 14,434 barrels of suspected stolen crude oil as well as 1,385,000 litres of product suspected to be illegally refined AGO.

He said, although no arrest was made as operators of the illegal refining sites fled on sighting the team hence the illegal refining sites have been earmarked for swamp buggy operation.

He said on the 11 May, Forward Operating Base ESCRAVOS intercepted 3 large wooden boats around Madangho and Sara Creek in Warri South LGA of Delta State.

He noted that the boats were laden with about 12.6 barrels of suspected stolen crude oil and 43,000 litres of products suspected to be illegally refined AGO.

Enenche disclosed that on the 12th May, the team discovered 7 refining units, 13 metal storage tanks and 4 dugout pits with about 440.3 barrels of stolen crude oil and 180,000 litres of products suspected to be illegally refined AGO.

On activities of Operation Lafiya Dole, Enenche said they neutralised several members of the Boko Haram Terrorists/ISWAP fighters hence most of their senior commanders were also neutralized and their logistics facilities, gun trucks and other structures destroyed.

The Chinese Vessel

He said most of the operations occurred in air strikes hence 20 BHT/ISWAP Terrorists were killed and 6 AK-47 rifles, 520 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition and five 36 Hand Grenades were recovered.

He said for Operation HADARIN DAJI, the Air Component, neutralized 27 armed bandits and destroyed some of their dwellings along the Nahuta-Doumborou Corridor on the border between Katsina and Zamfara States in air strikes.

For troops of Operation WHIRL STROKE, Enenche said they had a raid operations on bandits’ hideouts in Benue and Nasarawa States which led to neutralization of 2 bandits of the notorious Gana’s gang with others fleeing with various degrees of gunshot wounds.

He noted that items recovered during the raid operations include; 4 locally fabricated machine guns, 3 dane-guns, 12 locally-made rifles, cartridge firing pistols and 2 locally fabricated cartridge guns.

He said other were, 4 revolver pistols, 2 cartridge pistols, 58 rounds of 9mm ammunition, 57 x 7.62mm Special Ammunition, 2 motorcycles, 2 camouflage, a generator set and a Bag of Gunpowder as well as assorted charms among others items

He said bandits and militias neutralized within this period stands at 29.

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