The Nigerian Army has said that its troops on Operation Delta Safe over the weekend conducted a successful operation on a hideout used for the manufacturing of local arms in the Arhavwarien Kingdom, Ughelli South, Delta State.
The commander of the operation, Apochi Suleiman, who briefed the press in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, said the troops recovered 13 short-barrel locally-made guns, five double-barrel locally-made guns, and 10 locally-made pistols, including three live cartridges, one empty cartridge and two rounds of 7.62-millimeter special ammunition.
Mr. Suleiman, a rear admiral, also said the raid followed an intelligence report of an arms manufacturing gang in the Arhavwarien, Ughelli area of Delta State.
He said three suspects – Isiyaka Uchuko, Ese James, and Elvis Phillips – were arrested during the raid, adding that the gang supplied deadly ammunition to kidnappers, cultists, sea robbers, militants and armed robbers.
Mr. Suleiman said the troops have also arrested a 50-year-old man, Mathew Okafor, in connection with the buying and selling of an international oil company wellhead popularly known as “Xmas Tree” and other wellhead accessories.
Mr. Okafor’s arrest followed a tip-off, the army said.
The army also announced the arrest of an alleged wanted oil bunkering kingpin, Nkwe Godspower, 42.
The army said it recovered 10 cheque booklets belonging to different banks, an international passport, and five different identity cards, and N1 million plus from Mr. Godspower.
Both Mr. Okafor and Mr. Godspower are in the custody of the Operation Delta Safe, undergoing preliminary investigation, the army said.
Mr. Suleiman commended members of the public for their support for the Operation Delta Safe and appealed to them to provide timely information to troops in order to get rid of criminals in the Niger Delta region.