During a two day operation by Soldiers from the newly commissioned 4 Brigade, Benin, Monitoring Team, on Illegal Oil Bunkering and Pipeline Vandalization Unit in the Niger Delta which began on Wednesday, illegally refined Automative Gas Oil along the creeks, in Aroton, Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State, were seized and destroyed.
Commander, 4 Brigade, Brig.-Gen. Pat Akem, said the activities of oil bunkerers were undermining government’s economic agenda and further polluting the environment.
During the raid, over 76 Cotonou boats, each holding at least six 10, 000 litres GP tanks filled with illegally refined AGO, was seized by the soldiers and destroyed, in remote areas of the creek, on Thursday.
Akem said oil bunkerers make more than N20 million monthly and several times attacked troops in the course of duty.
He said, “The average oil bunkerer makes about N20 million and for hese they are willing to attack. Those Cotonou boats you saw, there are some that carry three trailers (product content), there was one we destroyed, it can carry 10 trailers; we sank that one. I set up a monitoring team, so if the troops are conniving, they know they are in problem.”
Head of the monitoring team, Lt. Col. Hassan Bello, during Thursday’s exercise which lasted over five hours, said activities of bunkerers covered wide areas of the Niger Delta region, and solicited the support of Nigerians to help stem the tide.