The Nigeria Navy (NNS Delta) has arrested 75 persons suspected to be involved in illegal oil bunkering, militancy, kidnapping, impersonation and gun production in Delta State and other parts of the Niger Delta region.
It uncovered the gun-manufacturing workshop that specialises in producing local pistols and rifles at Opuama in Ughelli South Council. The Navy also impounded three vessels and 80 boats loaded full of stolen crude oil.
They were nabbed in an Operation Delta Safe raid on militants.
The Commander of NNS Delta, Commodore Joseph Djunve, while parading the suspects and the impounded vessels and boats at the NNS base in Warri yesterday said they were arrested in different parts of the Niger Delta, particularly in Delta State.
He said the arrests were made in compliance with the directive of the Chief of Naval staff, who declared war on illegal oil bunkering, piracy and other criminal activities.
Commodore Djunve said different types of weapons were being fabricated at the workshop and that there was intelligence that they also used their equipment to rupture pipelines to steal petroleum products. A box full of all sorts of equipment used in the illicit act was paraded with the suspects at the Warri naval base.
One of the arrested gun manufacturers, who gave his name as Joseph Oba said he is a loyalist of the Farah Dagogo, a militant leader in Bayelsa State and that he was invited by some persons to join the gang without knowing what he was walking into.