Army seizes eight boats, 2.3m litres of stolen diesel
TROOPS of Operation Pulo Shield (OPS) of the Nigerian Army in Port Harcourt have seized 2.3 million litres of allegedly stolen diesel worth N3.45 million from an illegal bunker site in Rivers State.
The petroleum product was siphoned from the pipelines belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC).
Maj.-Gen. Alani Okunlola, the Commander of the operation, formerly known as the Joint Task Force, disclosed this to newsmen on yesterday at Tamunotonye Ama in Ogu-Bolo Local Council of Rivers State.
Okunlola said that two suspected oil thieves were arrested at the bunker site, while several equipment used by the operators of the illegal bunkering were seized during the raid.
“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.”
“Troops during the raid discovered and seized eight large metal barges 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 barges have estimated capacity of seven tanker trucks each,” he said.
The OPS commander 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.
Okunlola said that investigation into the activities of the operators of the illegal bunker had begun.
He said that the investigation should reveal how they were able to operate in the area without being spotted.
The OPS commander 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.
The site is located near the Onne Sea Port and the Onne Oil and Gas Free Zone where several multinational oil and gas companies are operating.