20 Ghanaians arrested for oil bunkering in Niger Delta

The JTF Field Commander, Victor Ebhaleme
The JTF Field Commander, Victor Ebhaleme

The JTF says is is in complete control of the Niger Delta creeks

Ghanaians allegedly involved in illegal bunkering in the creeks of the Niger Delta were, on Friday, arrested by men of the Joint Military Task Force.

The Ghanaians, 20 of them, were arrested alongside 6 Nigerians, the Commander, Sector II of the Task Force, Tukur Buratai, disclosed this in an interview in Port Harcourt.

Sector II of the force comprises Rivers and Bayelsa States.

Mr. Buratai said the task force also destroyed seven barges loaded with crude oil. He said the barges were impounded in September at Abonnema, Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State but did not disclose the quantity of the crude oil impounded by the task force.

Mr. Buratai, who is also the Commander, 2 Brigade of the Army in Port Harcourt, said the arrested Ghanaians and the Nigerians have been handed over to the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, for prosecution.

“As you are aware, these barges have been operating within this area. They take advantage of the creeks, the difficult terrain, to sneak into the area and then steal the crude oil.

‘’But, luck ran out for them, we were able to intercept them,” he said.

He said that though it is difficult for gunboats to penetrate the creeks because some areas have shallow water, the force has taken full control of the creeks and can “take on the oil thieves squarely”.