Soldiers stationed at Ngwa High School, Aba, Abia State have destroyed a tanker with over 66, 000 liters of stolen petroleum.
Military sources hinted that one of the oil thieves was shot dead by the patrol team as he made to escape into the bush.
Commanding Officer, 144 Battalion of the Nigerian Army, Lt. Col. T.T Minimah told newsmen that the unmarked tanker has over 60, 000 liters of crude oil illegally gotten from one of the Shell Petroleum Development Company pipeline at Owaza in Ukwa West LGA.
“The incident happened around 1:30am at Owaza. The bunkers, including the driver of the truck and the conductor with other accomplices on sighting my men, dashed into nearby bush, leading to a hot chase on them by the patrol team while one of the suspects died during a shootout.What you are seeing today is one of the successes of the military in Aba and indeed, Abia State. We got an intelligence report that some people will come at the wee hours of the night to vandalize pipelines and scoop petroleum products. We step up our surveillance and today, it has really paid off.
Minimah disclosed that this is the sixth time his men have caught oil thieves in the area as they have intensified patrol on the pipeline and warned oil thieves to turn a new leaf.
“We are not going to relax on our oars. We are committed to not only secure the properties of governments, but to also protect lives and property in the state. This is not the first time we are doing this; it is the 5th or 6th time. This should also serve as a warning to those who are hell bent in sabotaging government. We have intensified our patrol on the pipeline and will continue to make sure that we not only discourage people from pipeline vandalism, but will also make sure that their illegal business does not thrive in Abia state,” he said.