Troops of the ‘Operation Pulo Shield’ of the Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt have seized 2.3 million litres of allegedly stolen diesel worth N3.45 million from an illegal bunker site in Rivers.
The petroleum product was siphoned from the pipelines belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC).
“On Sept. 23, troops of Sector 2 of OPS of 2 Brigade Army Port Harcourt stormed Tamunotonye-Ama community and discovered a very large bunkering site which operates illegally,” said Maj.-Gen. Alani Okunlola, the Commander of the operation. He disclosed this to newsmen on Sunday at Tamunotonye Ama in Ogu-Bolo Local Government Area of Rivers.
Okunlola said that two suspected oil thieves were arrested at the bunker site, while several equipment used by the operators of the illegal bunker were seized during the raid.
“Troops during the raid discovered and seized eight large metal badges laden with stolen Automated Gas Oil (AGO), commonly referred to as diesel, while another 23 empty barges were also seized.
“Two of the eight metal badges have estimated capacity of seven tanker trucks each,” he said.
Okunlola told newsmen that other items found at the site were 44 large plastic tanks, 22 illegal pumping dumps, 18 pumping machines, three speedboats, two outboard engines and a lengthy hose. He added that 19 storage tanks filled with stolen crude oil were also seized from the site during the operation.
“Two suspects in our custody will be interrogated, while the barges have been towed to Ogoloma Jetty in Okirika Local Government Area of Rivers,” he said.
Okunlola said that investigation into the activities of the operators of the illegal bunkers had begun. He said that under his command, the operation had increased the frequency of raids in a bid to end oil theft and illegal bunkering in the Niger Delta region.