By Ugochukwu Alaribe
ABA—Soldiers of the 144 Battalion, Asa, Abia State have destroyed illegal crude oil reservoirs in a swamp located at Umuelechi community in Ukwa West council area of the state.
The reservoirs are estimated to have the capacity to contain over 10,000 liters of crude oil drawn from a pipeline that passes through the Umuelechi community to the Imo River.
The demolition exercise which was led by Capt. Sampson Ademola and other members of the Joint Task Force witnessed the destruction of some materials suspected to be used by the vandals in loading the content into waiting trucks.
Various equipment including pipes and machines used by the operators of the illicit business to draw crude oil from the pipeline from where they sell it to buyers, were also destroyed.
Speaking to newsmen after the operation, the Commanding Officer, 144 Battalion, Asa, Lt. Col. Kasim Umar Sidi who described the activities of vandals as a great sabotage economic sabotage to the nation, added that the vandals may have operated unnoticed in the area for a long period of time before soldiers got information.
He said: “From the look of things at the scene, it shows that the activities of the vandals could have existed for over a period of time unnoticed until information over their ungodly act got to us. The vandals can only run, but we will arrest them.”
Although no arrest was made, the Battalion Commander who vowed to arrest the perpetrators of the illegal act, disclosed that the 144 Battalion would be collaborating with sister security agencies and warned the vandals operating in the area to desist or face the wrath of the Army.