On Wednesday, the Nigerian Army’s 6 Division discovered a sizable illicit camp for oil processing and took five million liters of stolen crude oil that was kept in a reservoir in Rivers State.
The camp at Komkom, in the Oyigbo Local Government Area of the state, near the Mirinwanyi channel of the Imo River, was raided by the soldiers.
It was discovered that before the army arrived and put an end to the illegal activities, about five million liters of crude oil had already been taken and were being refined inside the camp.
Using speedboats, the division’s leaders and the general officer commanding of the 6th Division, Maj.-Gen. Jamal Abdussalam, led the troops deep into the creeks to evaluate the camp.
The camp was set up with makeshift houses 15 boilers, nine storage tanks, newly acquired pipes, and other expensive facilities worth millions of naira.
Maj. Gen.Abdusalam, described what he saw on the ground as sad, pointing out that the division would not relax in its quest to destroy all illegal refineries and illegal connections in its area of responsibility.
He said after their last raid of an illegal refinery at Odagwa in Etche Local Government, where about three million litres of crude was seized, he had thought that no other one would be bigger until the latest raid by the troops.
According to Abdusalam, “This is in continuation of our operations to destroy all illegal refineries, and illegal connections in our area of responsibility. Based on credible intelligence, this morning, our troops raided this location.
“I thought we would not see anything more than the raid we carried out at Odagwa, unfortunately, we are seeing very sad illegal activities taking place in this area.
“We have discovered over 15 boilers and about nine reservoirs. From our estimation, the crude oil that had been stolen and reserved here for processing is over N5 million litres.
“On our way, we saw large Cotonou boats capable of taking 200 litres. We saw more than five on our way filled with crude oil. It is indeed very sad that these activities continued. We will not get tired. We will continue with our job.”
The GOC 6 Division further said though the operators fled the area, the division already has some leads that it is following to apprehend the suspects perpetrating such acts of economic sabotage.
“No arrest has been made. I said it before that most of the arrests were labourers working on the site. We have not been able to get real culprits.
“We can see the facilities here. It is not something that ordinary people can set up. It needs money, expertise, and careful planning.
Thus, it goes beyond the individuals we detain. We are investigating a number of leads in the hopes that they may lead us to the real culprits.
This is a filthy, criminal, and illegal behavior. We urge people to support reputable companies,” he continued.