Thursday, 3 September 2015

Army Discovers Massive Illegal Bunkering Site in Port Harcourt

The Nigerian Army on Wednesday said it has found a massive bunkering site near the office of the Nigerian Ports Authority in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

The army said the bunkering site is about one kilometre from the Nigerian Ports Authority  in the state capital.

Commander of 2 Brigade of the Nigerian Army, Brigadier Steven Olabanji, explained that security operatives stormed the site following a tipoff.

Olabanji he said the level of oil theft within the site was massive. He said the army discovered thousands of litres of illegally refined diesel at the site located at the Makoba Beach.

Olabanji said that over 5,000 drums of illegally refined fuel and a badge containing 165,000 litres of diesel were found at the site.
“About 16:40 hours on Monday, we got an information that some illegal bunkering activities were going on along Makoba Beach. On arrival, our personnel discovered illegal activities, which involved bunkering of illegally refined petroleum products and lifting of diesel to local boats.

“At the site, we found over 5,000 drums loaded with illegally refined diesel, four tanker trucks containing 132,000 litres of diesel combined and a badge with 165,000 litres of stolen diesel.

“This discovery is unprecedented because since we started our operations 10 days ago, this is about the biggest that we have uncovered,” he said.

He said additional 150 drums containing 3,150 litres of diesel was discovered in 21 Cotonou boats.

He 13 suspects were apprehended  at the site.

He said the army refrained from setting the site ablaze as was its practice due to its closeness to the NPA and other buildings.

“Our mandate requires us to destroy the site, but we cannot do this because it will degrade the environment and affect residents as it is situated in the heart of Port Harcourt. Our plan is to move them to a safe location for destruction.”

He added that preliminary investigation had started with a view to unravelling sponsors of the facility.
Source: The Punch 

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