No fewer than 500 drums of diesel smuggled into Calabar creeks suspected to have been adulterated have been destroyed by the Nigerian Army.
Commander of Operation Delta Safe, Sector 4 Col. B. O. Amakor confirmed the destruction which he said took place of along the Jebs community in Calabar South Local Government Area of Cross River State.
The exercise took place over the weekend, disclosing that they had tip off from the local residents which he said the Army is very grateful.
“We have destroyed 500 drums of diesel which was worth millions of naira. The drums were destroyed alongside two vehicles which were used to perpetuate these acts.
“Some suspects were arrested and after our preliminary investigations some of the people who were being used as labourers to offload the products were apprehended and we have handed them over to the relevant agencies for prosecution and some of them were released because they were not found wanting”.
He said that the smugglers usually smuggled the petroleum products from neighbouring states into the state and that in the present instant upon sighting them, they had absconded leaving behind the drums of diesel alongside two cars.
“The location they are coming from we could not ascertain that because the owners of these products abandoned it and fled when our troops came, but we arrested them in Calabar South.
“They passed through the creeks and entered the state through Calabar south, JEBS Area, precisely.
He said Operation Delta Safe is doing its best to ensure the dominance of the area particularly the waterways by way of patrol and our gunboats are always moving round the area making sure that we deter these smugglers from perpetuating these acts.
She called on the resident of local communities where bunkering is perpetuated to always volunteer information that would lead to the arrest of the economic saboteurs.
“We are reaching out to the locals through the community and youth leaders to help us with information and co-operate with the security agencies to give out these people when they are seen because they are the ones who get in contact with the people first when they are seen, so we are reaching out to them through the youth leaders.
“The challenges we are facing apart from the issue of logistics is the challenge of the locals who are not ready to divulge information.
“Most of the locals are not ready to give out information about these people because some of them are benefitting from this and that has been a major challenge”, he said.
Amakor also disclosed that they have also arrested 10 suspected kidnappers, and have killed many others in the last two weeks, confirming that those arrested were handed over to the DSS.
“Some of them we raided their camps some of them were killed in the process and some got away with gunshot wounds which we are still on their trail and we are assuring members of the public that these criminals will not find a resting place in the state”, Col. Amakor said.