Soldiers of 14 Brigade Headquarters, Ohafia, attached to the 144 Battalion in Ukwa West Local Government Area of Abia State have intercepted four vehicles loaded with illegally refined crude oil.
The Nation gathered that the soldiers who were on patrol in Ukwa West LGA intercepted the two unmarked white Ford buses along Uzuaku/Owaza road after the drivers of the cars on sighting the soldiers abandoned their vehicles and ran into the bush.
In another development, another team of soldiers of the 144 Battalion on patrol have also intercepted one Volkswagen and another Toyota mini bus loaded with illegally refined crude packaged in a polythene bag.
The vehicles were intercepted along Aba-Port Harcourt Expressway as they were heading to an unidentified destination.
A source at the Battalion who craved anonymity told our correspondent that the drivers like their counterparts that were intercepted at Owaza abandoned their vehicles and ran into the nearby bush when they noticed the presence of soldiers at a checkpoint on the Aba-Port Harcourt Expressway.
The source who confirmed that the vehicles have been set ablaze at an undisclosed dumpsite, lamented the activities of oil bunkers in Ukwa West LGA which the source described as heavy economic sabotage to the economy of the state, southeast and Nigeria as a whole, vowed to ensure that they make Abia unsafe for illegal crude oil activities.
“We have vowed to frustrate the activities of illegal crude oil dealers. We are collaborating with other sister agencies to ensure that the state is unsafe for such national economic sabotage.
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“We will not fold our arms and watch criminal elements continue to destroy and steal petroleum products illegally. We burnt the vehicles because there were no suspects to prosecute. If we had arrested some suspects, we would have handed them over to the police. But because the drivers ran into the bush, abandoning their vehicles, there is nothing we can do. We had to burn the vehicles.”