Nigerian Army uncovers oil bunkering site

Nigerian Army uncovers oil
bunkering site

image

The Nigerian Army says it has uncovered a massive illegal oil bunkering site located one kilometre along the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) in Port Harcourt.

Stevenson Olabanji, a
Brigadier General and
Commander of 2 Brigade of
the Nigerian Army, Port
Harcourt, told the News
Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on
Wednesday in Port Harcourt
that thousands of litres of
illegally refined diesel were
discovered at the site.

He said that army operatives
were immediately deployed
to the site at Makoba Beach,
which is two kms away from
the Rivers State Government
House.

“About 16:40 hours on
Monday, we got an
information that some illegal
bunkering activities were
going on along Makoba
Beach.

“On arrival, our personnel
discovered illegal activities
which involved bunkering of
illegally refined petroleum
products and lifting of diesel
to local boats.

“At the site, we found more
than 5,000 drums loaded with
illegally refined diesel; four
tanker trucks containing
132,000 litres of diesel
combined, and a barge with
165,000 litres of stolen diesel.

“This discovery is
unprecedented because since we started our operations 10 days ago, this is about the biggest that we have uncovered.”

Mr. Olabanji said that
additional 150 drums, loaded
with about 3,150 litres of
diesel, were also discovered
in 21 Cotonou boats.

He said 13 suspects were
arrested at the scene of the
illegal activity.

He said the illegal bunkering
dump had not yet been set ablaze, in line with the Joint Task Force mandate,
because of its closeness to residential buildings and the NPA.

“Our mandate requires us to destroy the site in situ, but we cannot do this because it will degrade the environment
and affect residents since it is situated in the heart of Port Harcourt.

“Our plan is to move them to a safe location for destruction.”

The commander said that preliminary investigation had already begun to
unravel sponsors of the activity, adding that the 13 suspects would be handed over to the relevant authorities for
further investigation and prosecution.

Mr. Olabanji, while urging oil thieves to desist from the sabotage of oil and gas
installations, assured Nigerians that the JTF would not rest until it rids the state
of illegal bunkering activities.

“Let it be known that the army will not and will never tolerate illegal bunkering in our area of responsibility,” he assured.

Mr. Olabanji called on the public to provide the JTF with timely information which could lead to the arrest of oil thieves and pipeline vandals.
(NAN)

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