Metro

June 25, 2024

Army cracks down on illegal refineries, arrest 13 suspects, recovers 2 boats in Abia

Army cracks down on illegal refineries, arrest 13 suspects, recovers 2 boats in Abia

By Steve Oko

Thirteen additional suspects have been arrested as the Nigerian Army raided illegal refineries in Obuaku Community, Ukwa West Local Government Area of Abia State.

This is coming barely four days after six suspected oil bunkerers were arrested and 14 boats, some laden with crude oil were recovered when the Army also raided the neighbouring Isimini Waterside.

The General Officer Commanding (GOC), 82 Division Enugu, Major Gen. Hassan Dada, who personally led both operations, vowed never to allow oil bunkerers and economic saboteurs any breeding ground in any state within the Division.

Addressing select newsmen right inside the creek on Monday evening, the GOC said about 1.5 million barrels of crude oil, had been siphoned by oil bunkerers.

He said additional two boats were recovered from bunkerers during the latest raid.

The GOC who lamented both the economic and environmental impacts of the activities of oil bunkerers, said the Army under Operation UDOKA, would not rest on its oars until bunkerers and other economic saboteurs were flushed out of the area.

“Illegal refineries cannot be allowed so that our economy will improve”, he said.

The GOC who said that the suspects would be handed over to the appropriate agencies for prosecution, added that those found culpable would be made to bear the consequences of their actions.

Meanwhile, one of the female suspects, told newsmen during an interview, that she was selling polythene to people at the camp, and came to recover her debt when she was arrested.

The suspect who was sobbing profusely, denied any involvement in the illegality.

Illegal refineries and some of the improvised equipment including locally-fabricated drims and tanks used by the bunkerers, were destroyed by the Army.