Ten boats, two barges and several thousands of containers used for illegal lifting of petroleum products in Akpabuyo and Bakassi local government areas of Cross River State have been set ablaze during a raid by security personnel, led by the state governor, Liyel Imoke.
Also, about 107 tankers, laden with petroleum products and pumping machines, were seized during the raid that lasted over six hours.
The areas raided during the operation included Esuk Mba Beach, Akpabuyo and Ikang Primary Health Care Centre, Esuk Ekonke Beach, Shell Road, Ikang and Edik Idim. Governor Imoke, who was accompanied by service commanders and operatives of the state’s Quick Intervention Squad, said it was unfortunate that illegal lifting of petroleum products and blood-money making businesses were thriving in those communities.
He said these activities were not only illegal but also destructive to the environment and social settings of those areas. He assured that the exercise would be carried out to every nook and cranny of the state where such illegal activities thrive, and commended service commanders for their commitment to routing the menace.
The governor, who was notified that such illegal businesses operated even within the premises of health centres and schools with attendant adverse impact on the people, vowed to chase those engaged in the illegal activities out of the state.
Addressing residents of the communities where the illegal businesses were being carried out, Imoke said the roads which were used as access to the beaches for the illegal activities were built for genuine businesses to boost legitimate economic activities for the good of the people.
The governor, therefore, urged the people to join hands with his administration to rid the state of the negative elements.