Nigerian Army has continued to recount successes of the ongoing exercise “Crocodile Smile II” being conducted in the South south and some states in the South west.
The army flagged-off the exercise on October 13, 2017, and was aimed at training troops in the conduct of Internal Security Operations in aid of Civil, as well as check criminal activities, such as illegal oil bunkering, pipeline vandalism and kidnapping, in the areas.
Exercise Crocodile Smile II is specifically designed to further the gains and consolidate on the successes of Exercise Crocodile Smile I, which was conducted last year November, according to army spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Sani Usman.
However, as Exercise Crocodile Smile II progresses, the army said it has continue to record successes, especially in the area of crime prevention.
Spokesperson of 6 Division, Port Haccourt, Col. Aminu Iliyasu said in a statement that troops of the division have arrested a total of 30 suspected cultists between Ogbolomabiri and Nembe after a shoot-out between rival cult groups in a battle of supremacy.
He also said that troops have also identified and destroyed militants/sea pirates’ camps and shrines along Okparatobo creek in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area. He said in one of the camps, an AK-47 Magazine, 8 live rounds of 7.62mm special and one fibre speed boat mounted with a 115 HP engine were recovered while suspects fled on sighting troops approach.
He said: “On 20th October, troops acting on a tip-off from some patriotic citizens, arrested another suspected criminal, one Mr. Aibonuwa Thompson aka Bassambri at Etiema community who was alleged to have participated in several kidnappings and sea piracy around Nembe.
“Between 9:30am-5:00pm on Saturday 21st October, our troops occupied themselves with the relocation of 176 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) among them women and children who have been displaced by crisis from Premabiri community in Bayelsa State since 2015.
“Similarly, on 16th October troops of 16 Brigade Garrison in conjunction with elements of 130 Battalion conducted special operations that led to the arrest of one Mr. Dada at Tombia Round about who is known to be a notorious criminal terrorizing the peace loving people of Tombia and adjoining communities.
“Additionally, troops in conjunction with personnel of the DSS raided a criminal hide-out where a notorious cultistist, Mr. Exodus Kismet aka “Hot Bottle” was arrested at Sand Road by Aritalane, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State. The suspect has been on the Police wanted list owing to an allegation that he killed some people at Omoku LGA of Rivers State and thereafter relocated to Bayelsa to evade arrest.
“On 13th October 2017, troops of 343 Artillery Regiment carried out a robust patrol within Brass which led to the arrest of 9 suspects who were found to be in possession of substances suspected to be cannabis and 33 wraps of substances suspected to be heroine. Also, troops of 16 Brigade Garrison on routine patrol intercepted a notorious armed robber who was alleged to have fled from the police at Okaka Estate Junction in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
Iliyasu said all suspects and items recovered have been handed over to relevant security agencies for possible prosecution while the operation continues.