Ughelli — No fewer than 3,000 plastic drums, containing diesel and three locally constructed warehouses were Sunday night, set ablaze by men of the Joint Military Task Force, JTF, at a camp for sale of illegally refined petroleum products in Owhawha community, Ughelli South Local Government Area, Delta State.
The military personnel stormed the camp in three Hilux pick-ups vehicles at about 9.30 pm.
The camp was already deserted as the operators of the illegal market fled the area when they got information on moves by the soldiers to invade the area. Two motorcycles were found in the camp when the JTF arrived.
Commanding Officer, 222 Battalion, Lt. Col. A. H. Rasheed, who addressed newsmen moments after, said the JTF swung into action after it got a tip-off from some members of the community.
Commending the community for giving JTF the information, Rasheed said the country was losing over N7 billion daily to the activities of illegal bunkerers.
He said they proceeded to destroy the camp as soon as they got the information, adding, "if we had waited a little longer, they would have removed the products before dawn."
Noting that JTF was leaving no stone unturned in keeping vigilance in the area, he said that the JTF had also discovered a location at a neighbouring community in the area where illegal refining of petroleum products was being carried out.