By EMMA AMAIZE & Akpokona Omafuaire
TWO suspected oil thieves, including a 29-year-old unemployed graduate of metallurgy, were nabbed by the men of the 3 Battalion, Effurun and Joint Task Force, Operation Pulo Shield, at Gbaramatu kingdom in Delta State, at the weekend.
The second suspect, 22, hails from Ewu, while the metallurgy graduate is from Afiesere, both in Ughelli North Local Government Area of the state. They were apprehended when soldiers stormed the area to destroy illegal oil refineries
Over 5,000 drums of underhandedly refined diesel, 300 surface tanks, 60 giant Contonou boats, huge quantity of stolen crude oil and five speed boats were destroyed in the eight-hour operation.
The operation was led by Lt. Col. Ifeanyi Otu, Commanding Officer, 3 Battalion. He told newsmen, “The operation shows our tenacity in obeying the rule of law in the country”.
On the increase in illegal bunkering and refineries, he said, “I am not surprised because it has to do with individuals. We have talked to them severally to engage in legitimate business, but some are adamant.”
He added, “We will not rest on our oars because we have achieved so much. We will continue to destroy their illicit business until it is stopped.”