The Nigerian Navy ship NNS SOROH raided a suspected pirates’ hideout at Foropa community in the southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa on Friday.
The Director of Naval Information, Commodore Adedotun Ayo-Vaughan, stated on Sunday in Abuja that the Naval Base in Yenagoa had sustained operations aimed at curbing piracy and crude oil theft.
He added that Friday’s exercise was part of NNS SOROH’s determination to curb the proliferation of illegal weapons before, during, and after Saturday’s off-cycle governorship election in Bayelsa.
He stated that the base deployed an anti-sea robbery patrol team from one of its naval security stations to the area for the exercise.
“On sighting the Nigerian Navy’s patrol team gunboats, the suspected pirates fled into the bushes.
“The special anti-sea robbery team cordoned and searched the area and recovered one general-purpose machine gun with 100 links and two AK-47 rifles.
“The team also recovered one locally-made gun, two Tavor magazines, 11 rounds of 7.62 (NATO), and two cartridge rounds of pump-action gun.
“Other recovered items were two 200-horsepower Yamaha engines, five Baofeng radios, a small Techno Android phone, one GPS phone, three small Techno phones and camouflage uniforms,” he stated.
Ayo-Vaughan added that the camp was subsequently deactivated to deny the criminals any shelter within the vicinity.
“The Nigerian Navy will continue to conduct such sting operations to resist and arrest criminals desperate to undermine the democratic process, disrupt public peace, or breach hard-earned maritime security.
“The service will continue to cooperate with stakeholders to achieve a peaceful maritime environment critical for legitimate business by law-abiding citizens,” Ayo-Vaughan assured.