The Nigerian Army on Sunday publicly burnt two tankers used by suspected vandals to siphon crude oil from a burst pipeline at Ugo, along the Benin-Abraka road in Edo.
Col. Idris Lawan, the Commander of Operation Thunder Storm, supervised the tankers’ destruction, which was witnessed by an official of the NNPC.
Lawan said that the tankers were impounded by the army’s pipeline protection team which acted on a tip-off.
He, however, said that the tankers’ owners fled on sighting the security team, adding that the tankers would not have been burnt if the owners had been caught.
“You can see that one of the tankers is already loaded with crude while the other was trying to load.
“If we had caught those using the tankers to steal crude, we would not have burnt the tankers; instead, we have prosecuted their owners,” he said.
According to him, the tankers’ destruction will serve as a deterrent to others.
Lawan reiterated the army’s resolve to stamp out pipeline vandalism in the area, warning pipeline vandals to desist from the act or face arrest and prosecution.
He said that the army was collaborating with other security agencies to stamp out pipeline vandalism in Edo and its environs.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the two tankers, with registration number XC 808 AKL and ABJ 678 XA, could carry 33, 000 litres and 42, 000 litres of fuel respectively.