Nigerian politicians profit from oil theft - WikiLeaks

Wed Sep 7, 2011 5:35pm GMT

"Profits from illegal bunkering became high enough in the last several years to enable both JTF members and 'militants' to profit and co-exist without seriously interfering with each other's activities. Fighting only erupted when disputes arose about boundaries."

Some estimates say 100,000 barrels of crude are stolen from the Niger Delta each day, about five percent of the country's crude production. The cable suggested it may even be more.

"Various experts have estimated the volume of oil theft at between 100,000 and 250,000 barrels per day or as much as 91 million barrels per year. This amounts to billions of dollars in lost revenue for the Nigerian treasury every year," it said.

(Reporting by Tim Cocks)

A view of an illegal oil refinery is seen in Ogoniland outside Port Harcourt in Nigeria's Delta region March 24, 2011. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye
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