Five Oil Thieves Arrested, Reservoirs Of 225,000 Liters Stolen Crude Uncovered, As Army Storm Rivers Forest

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Operatives of 6 Division, Nigeria Army, Port Harcourt, Rivers State have arrested five illegal oil bunkering suspects.

This was as the troop of the Division also uncovered five 45,000 capacity reservoirs ladened with approximately 225,000 liters of crude in the thick forest of the community.

The army made this discovery and arrest at Odagwa Community in Etche Local Government Area of the state.

Conducting journalists around the forest for the achievement, the Commanding Officer, 29 Battalion, Lieutenant Colonel Ishaya Manga, revealed that the troops achieved the feat through the combination of technology and human intelligence.

Manga, who represented the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 6 Division, Nigerian, Port Harcourt, Major General Jamal Abdusallam, vowed that the troops would not rest until illegal oil bunkering and other crime perpetrated within their Area of Operation are brought to a standstill.

He further noted that apart from the huge amount of stolen crude oil discovered, several other cooking pots were uncovered and destroyed by the operatives.

Manga said: “In continuation of our operation to rid 6 Division area of illegal oil bunkering and other forms of criminality which began in February organised by the division. It is against this backdrop that the troops of 6 Division were directed to identify, locate and destroy all illegal refineries within the 6 Division area of responsibility.

“We use two approaches to our discoveries, one of the approaches is drones, but it is not everything that the drone can sight, so we deployed our second approach which is human intelligence and that is what we’ve been using so far and it has been yielding tremendous results.”

While emphasising that the operations of the criminals were negatively impacting the social economic activities of the state, he explained that each of the uncovered reservioirs contained about 45,000 liters of the product.

He said: “This is economic sabotage against the federal government, impacting negatively on the social economic activities, as well as the health of the citizens and that is why we are here. We would continue to do our best to ensure that all illegal refineries in this area are destroyed.

“Apart from these reservoirs, there are other cooking pots at various locations not far from here which would be completely destroyed.

“In this general area of Odagwa, our troops have discovered about five reservoirs filled with about 45,000 liters of illegal crude oil and there are other empty reservoirs discovered by the troops, the operation is ongoing and we will continue to make further discoveries. As soon as the discoveries are made, the public would be informed.”

While commending the law-abiding citizens for their cooperation in their fight against illegal oil bunkering in the state, he warned economic saboteurs in the state to steer clear of government’s infrastructure.

“I also want to send a message to those oil bunkerers to desist from these forms of criminality because it is against the law, this is sabotage against the federal government, Rivers State government and the community where this heinous crime is being carried out.

 

“So far we have arrested five suspects and those arrested would be taken to the division where they would be referred to the relevant authorities for prosecution,” he mentioned.