Military uncovers five million litres of stolen crude in Rivers

The Nigerian Army says it has seized five million litres of stolen crude stored in the reservoir of an illegal refinery in Rivers State.

The  General Officer Commanding, 6 Division, Maj.-Gen. Jamal Abdussalam, said the illegal refinery was uncovered along the Mirinwanyi channel of the Imo River in the Komkom area of the Oyigbo Local Government Area of the state.

Abdussalam said troops found about five million litres of stolen crude oil stored in a reservoir, adding that powerful people were behind oil theft, given the scale on which it was being perpetrated.

“I said it before that most of the arrest 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 persons can set up. It needs money, expertise and careful planning,” he said.

“So it is beyond the people we arrest. We are following several leads and we are hoping that those leads will take us to those, who are actually responsible,” the GOC added.

The new discovery is coming about a week after the military discovered about three millions of crude oil in an illegal refinery at Odagwa in the  Etche Local Government Area of Rivers State.

The GOC  who described the discovery as sad, said the military would not rest on its oars in its quest to destroy all illegal refineries and illegal connections in its area of responsibility.

“This is in continuation of our operations to destroy all illegal refineries, illegal connections in our area of responsibility. Based on credible intelligence, this morning, our troops raided this location,” he said.

“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 five 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.”

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