Former Nigerian Ambassador to Brazil, Dr. Patrick Dele Cole has revealed that the main buyers of the estimated 180,000 barrels of oil stolen each day in Nigeria are based in the Balkans and Singapore.
Cole, a politician from the oil-rich Niger Delta region, said 90 per cent of the stolen oil is being shipped out of the country illegally.
Cole is currently spearheading a campaign titled: “Stop The Theft” to end the practice.
The campaign is seeking to have ships tracked by satellite and for the money trail to be exposed.
“Once you start asking questions and throwing light on this problem, you have solved more than 50 per cent of the problem,” said the veteran diplomat and former presidential adviser.
“I think you should send out a warning to those who being extremely rich, that their day of reckoning is coming.”
He said that about 10 per cent of the snatched oil was being refined locally by gangs operating in the delta’s creeks and swamps.
The rest is mainly going to criminal networks in Ukraine, Serbia and Bulgaria, or to Singapore, which is the world’s top refiner, he said.
“It’s been a problem for a long time, but when it was 50,000 barrels, people thought [it] was tolerable. Now we are at a totally different level,” he further stated.