12 January 2012, Sweetcrude, Calabar – Officials of the Joint Task Force, known as Operation Pulo Shield, attached to 13 Brigade Nigerian Army, Calabar, at the early hours of Friday, arrested 22 oil bunkerers with 162 drums of diesels at the Calabar Jetty.
The bunkerers who siphoned the product from Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, pipeline at the high sea loaded them in three boats and ferried them to an empty compound at the Calabar Marina allegedly belonging to one Ezekiel Nkereuwem.
Captain Joseph James, the Army Public Relations Officer for the 13 Brigade, Calabar and the Sector Three Operation Pulo Shield said the arrest of the bunkeres followed an intelligence report which led men of the task force to swoop on the compound and effect the arrest of the suspects.
He said while some suspects were arrested at the Marina, some were arrested at MRS filling station along Mayne Avenue, Calabar, where the diesel was being taken to for onward sale.
According to him, “When our men stormed the compound, they arrested some suspects along with one hundred and sixty four drums filled with diesel and one hundred and forty six empty drums in the compound.”
He said the drums of diesel were carried to MRS filling station where the diesel is emptied into surface tanks for onward loading to trucks and sold to other filling stations.
“At the MRS Filling Station, they load these products into their surface tanks and subsequently transfer them into standby trucks and sold to other filling stations and if you accost the trucks on the way, they show you documents issued by the station that the product is bought there”.