Troops apprehend syndicate supplying N19.3m fuel to Cameroonian rebels


The arrested fuel smuggling suspects

By Sumaila Ogbaje

Troops of Nigerian Army have intercepted and apprehended eight members of a syndicate that specialises in smuggling fuel from Nigeria to the Ambazonian rebels in the Republic of Cameroon to facilitate terrorists’ activities.

The Nigerian Army, in a post on its official X Handle on Friday, said the syndicate was nabbed in a significant covert operation driven by actionable intelligence and extensive surveillance.

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The army said the sting operation took place on Friday along the Abong-Kurmi Baissa Road in Taraba, on the Nigeria and Cameroon border.

The army identified the suspects as Jafaru Adamu (32), Auwal Haruna (34), Umar Dahiru, Mubarak Abdullahi (20), Saidu Musa (26), Bashiru Ibrahim (18), Danlami Yahuza  (19), and Abubakar Abdullahi (19).

It added that the suspects were caught enroute the border with large quantity of fuel.

“During preliminary investigation, the culprits confessed to smuggling and selling fuel to the Cameroonian Ambazonian rebels, who are prohibited from entering Nigeria to purchase the product directly.

“The suspects revealed that they have previously bought fuel from Gassol and Bali Local Government Areas at the rate of ₦950 per liter.

“However, they discovered that in Takum LGA the fuel was sold at ₦800 per liter, prompting them to source for the product in Takum,” the army revealed.

It said the suspects were traveling in three J5 vehicles, carrying 605 jerry cans, each with a capacity of 40 liters, totaling 24,200 liters of fuel at the time of their arrest.

It added that the fuel, valued at ₦800 per liter, amounts to a total worth of ₦19.3 million.

“Further investigation led to the identification of other members of the smuggling syndicate, including Alhaji Abdulmumini, Jafaru Adamu, Babilu Zubairu, Sule Abong, and Mark Akawu.

“Akawu is allegedly the chairman of the syndicate based in Abong, a border community between Kurmi Local Government Area of Taraba and the Republic of Cameroon.

“This operation marks a significant step in curbing the illegal supply of resources to terrorist groups and enhancing regional security,” the army added. (NAN)

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