By Dennis Naku
The 6 Division, Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt has intercepted a truck conveying over 16,000 litres of illegally-refined Automated Gas Oil, also known as diesel, in Ahoada East, Rivers State.
The Army said the product, loaded in 80 drums and worth over N14m, was intercepted on Sunday along Okporowo Road in the Ahoada East local Government Area of Rivers State.
The Commander, 6 Division Garrison, Brig. Gen. Eddie Effiong, disclosed this while briefing newsmen on the seizure in Port Harcourt on Wednesday.
Effiong, said the “current market value of the seized product of 16, 000 litres, we gathered, is about N14.4m.
While noting that the oil thieves had devised a new means in carrying out their illicit activity, he said the military was equal to the task and ahead of them.
Effiong said in synergy with sister security agencies, the Army would not rest on its laurels in the fight against oil bunkering and other forms of criminality.
He stated, “We called you today to take a look at another dimension of illegal oil bunkering in the Niger Delta.
“Normally, illegal bunkering products are conveyed in tankers and just few days back, we saw this container truck which is supposed to carry goods.
“But based on credible information, an ambush was laid and this truck was held. And on opening it, what we saw inside were 80 drums of illegally-refined AGO.
“So, it was apprehended and moved down here. This is just to show the extent to which people can go to commit crime. Ordinarily, if this was in a tanker, they would have been apprehended easily.
“But seeing this, you might think they are carrying goods, or frozen items and you just allow them to pass.”
Effiong said oil thieves must understand that “as they are devising new methods, we, equally, are going to follow them up and apprehend them.”
“On our part, we will not relent. Anyway they want to devise new means, we will devise our own means also to catch them,” he added.
Effiong, who is also the Commander of Sector 3, Operation Delta Safe Military Joint Task Force, said occupants of the truck took to their heels, abandoned their truck on sighting the military.
“No body was arrested, the suspects, on sighting the military checkpoint, ran into the bush,” he said.