Abia: Army Cracks Down on Illegal Refineries, Arrest 13 Suspects

Recovers 2 Boats.
Illegal refinery  [X]
Illegal refinery X

In a recent raid on illegal oil refineries in Obuaku Community, Ukwa West Local Government Area of Abia State, Nigeria, the army has arrested 13 more suspects.

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

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

During interrogation with the journalists inside the creek on Monday, June 24, the GOC hinted that about 1.5 million barrels of crude oil had been syphoned by oil bunkerers. He noted that the other two boats were recovered from bunkers during the latest raid.

The GOC, who complained about the economic and environmental impacts of the activities of oil bunkerers, opined that the Army, under Operation UDOKA, would not rest on its oars until bunkerers and other economic saboteurs were flushed out of the area. “Cracking down on illegal refineries is important for our economic growth,” he asserted.  

The GOC, who announced that the suspects would be handed over to the law enforcement agencies for prosecution, said that those found guilty would be made to bear the consequences of their actions.

One of the female suspects informed journalists during an interview that she was selling plastic bags to people at the camp and came to recover her debt when she was apprehended. The suspect, who was crying profusely, denied any involvement in the illegality.

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

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