A senior army official disclosed that the Nigerian Army, led by Maj.-Gen. Jamaal Abdussalam, GOC of the 6 Division, seized approximately 5 million liters of stolen crude oil, valued at billions of naira. The operation was based on intelligence revealing a large illegal refining site in the dense forest of Kom-Kom community, Oyibo, Rivers.
“In continuation of our ongoing operations to dismantle all illegal refineries and illegal pipeline connections, on January 31, we received credible intelligence about the activities of oil thieves in Oyibo.
“Upon receiving the intelligence report, troops were deployed, and they raided the location (illegal refinery).
“At first, I thought we would not find anything considering the last raid we carried out in Odagwa, but we discovered massive illegal bunkering activities taking place there.
Abdussalam underscored that uncovering the illegal bunkering site marked a notable achievement in the Federal Government’s endeavors to eliminate oil theft and economic sabotage in the country.
“During the raid on the illegal facility, we discovered over 15 boilers and nine reservoirs containing over 5 million litres of stolen crude oil reserved for processing.
“On our way here, we also found five large foreign (Cotonou) boats filled with 200 to 300 litres of crude oil each along the Imo River leading to the forest.
“It is sad that these illegal activities have continued despite efforts to curb them. However, we will persist until we bring an end to the menace,” he added.
The high-ranking official indicated that intelligence reports exposed the participation of oil thieves and pipeline vandals, backed by individuals determined to subvert government initiatives. He assured that the Nigerian Army had taken proactive measures to combat illegal bunkering, emphasising the division’s commitment to eradicating this threat.
“Illegal refineries are not established by ordinary individuals on the roadside. It requires expertise and meticulous setup—beyond the capabilities of the labourers we arrested the last time.
“Therefore, we call on the criminals involved in this illicit enterprise to engage in legitimate businesses and allow the government to do what it is supposed to do,” he cautioned.
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