The 6 Division of Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has uncovered an illegal oil depot, in the state capital and impounded 16 trucks in the premises.
Newsmen discovered that the facility was formerly the Union Dicon Salt premises located in Macoba, close to the Naval Dockyard, in Port Harcourt metropolis.
Briefing newsmen, on Thursday, spokesman of the 6 Division, Col. Aminu Iliyasu, said the Army discovered the illegal petroleum loading depot, following discreet information.
Col. Iliyasu, who spoke for the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 6 Division, Maj.-Gen. Jamil Sarham, said the activities of illegal oil bunkerers have become daring because it affects lives of members of the public.
Army noted that the use of the facility by the perpetrators was because of the proximity to the river, adding that 10 out of the 16 trucks were already loaded at the point of arrest.
Iliyasu’s words, “With these activities going on in this area, it means that some people would be super-rich and some another people will remain super-poor.”
He described the activities as a serious economic sabotage and environmental pollution dangerous to human lives.
“When the adulterated product is supplied to members of the public, it endangers the lives of Nigerians. If we don’t talk, it would consume everybody.
“It is a serious economic sabotage and has dangerous health implications The 16 trucks were found in the premises. Ten of the trucks were already loaded with products”, he said
Col. Iliyasu warned those involved in the economic sabotage to stop or leave the states under 6 Division, vowing to prosecute any person caught indulging in oil theft.
He added that whatever is the outcome of the investigation, suspects and exhibits would be handed over to sister security agencies for further investigation.
In his statement, Lt. Col. Ibrahim Buhari, Commanding Officer, 29 Battalion, in 6 Division, said Army discovered the illegal activities on October 2, adding that 10 trucks were already loaded with products at the time of arrest.
Two suspects were arrested. Generating sets and different sizes of pipes were among items recovered at the depot.