Oil bunkering: Troops recover, destroy 14 boats in Abia

Troops of Operation UDOKA on Friday evening, destroyed 14 boats and several drums of crude oil recovered from oil bunkerers at Isimini Waterside, Ukwa West Local Government Area of Abia State.

Leading the operation near an oil flo station in the area, General Officer Commanding (GOC) 82 Division of the Nigerian Army Enugu, Major Gen. Hassan Dada, said troops acting on intelligence laid siege on the bunkerers for five days before eventually catching up with them.

According to him, six suspects were arrested and handed over to the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps, NSCDC, for further questioning and prosecution.

Flanked by the Brigade Commander in charge of 14 Brigade Nigerian Army, Ohafia, Brig. Gen. Olusola Diya, while addressing newsmen at the creek, the GOC said eight of the seized boats were large Cotonu boats while others were small boats.

He added that the bunkerers use their equipment to rupture oil pipelines in the area, steal crude, some of which they refine, and some they take to the high seas and sell at ridiculous prices to the enemies of the country.

The GOC further stated that the leader of the cartel had been identified but was on the run, vowing that no economic saboteur would be given a breeding space within the operational areas of Operation UDOKA.

According to him, the bunkerers use the proceeds of the stolen crude to finance terrorism.

Maj. Gen. Dada warned all those involved in the illicit act to turn a new leaf or brace up for the wrath of the military.

“This is just the beginning of the operation, and we will make sure no stone is left unturned. Anybody found culpable will be dealt with. It’s high time they left this joint operation area because we won’t spare them. Nobody should be involved in any form of economic sabotage within Operation UDOKA joint operation area.

“We are here to ensure that no form of economic sabotage occurs in our joint operational area. We have been here conducting operations against economic saboteurs trying to take crude oil, which is the mainstay of our economy.

“Based on intelligence, we waited for them here for five days until yesterday (Thursday) when they came to get crude oil from the pipeline, then we moved in and recovered 14 boats, some with crude oil,” he said.

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