Soldiers from 144 Battalion, under 14 Brigade Ohafia, Abia State have destroyed illegal crude oil reservoirs in a swamp located at Umuelechi village in Ukwa West Local Government Area of the state.
The reservoirs are estimated to have over 10, 000 liters of crude oil drawn from a crude oil pipeline that passes through Umuelechi community from Isimiri to Imo River.
It was gathered that operatives of the 144 Battalion got wind of the reservoirs after intelligence revealed that some yet-to-be identified persons were carrying out such illicit act in the area.
It was also gathered that the operators of the illegal business, after drawing the crude oil from the pipeline, using their pipe and other instruments will store and subsequently sell it to their prospective buyers who will as well, sell it to individuals and organizations in and outside Aba.
Speaking to newsmen after the operation, the Commanding Officer, 144 Battalion, Asa, Lt. Col. Kasim Umar Sidi who lamented the attitude of the vandals in the state also described their activities as economic sabotage to the country’s economy.
According to Sidi, from the look of things at the scene, it shows that the activities of the vandals could have existed for over a period of time unnoticed until information over their ungodly act got to the soldiers.
He said that no arrest was made but that they were collaborating with sister agencies to ensure that they uncover the perpetrators of ungodly act as they have set out their drag net and warned those behind the act to desist from it and look for legitimate business to do or be ready to face the consequences of their actions.
The destruction exercise which lasted for over three hours which was led by Capt. Sampson Ademola and other members of the Joint Task Force witnessed the destruction of some of the materials suspected to be used by the vandals in loading the content into a waiting truck.
Recall that the area has been noted for its notoriety in pipeline vandalizalism which is having negative impact on the economy of the country despite the presence of combined team of security agencies guiding the pipeline and checkmating the activities of vandals across communities where petroleum pipelines pass through.
Copyright Ships & Ports Ltd. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit given to www.shipsandports.com.ng as the source.