7 September 2011
LAGOS (Reuters) - Nigeria
's political elite and soldiers have profited from large-scale oil theft in the Niger Delta that may cost the country up to a tenth of its production, according to a leaked U.S. diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks at the end of last week.
"Oil theft, widely referred to as
'illegal bunkering ' in Nigeria, represents significant economic activity with serious ramifications for Nigeria 's economy, security, democracy and environment," says the November 2009 cable sent by then-U.S. Consul-General Donna M. Blair, released by the anti-secrecy group.
"No other, major oil-producing country ... loses as much revenue from illicit oil bunkering as
, largely because the political elite, militants, and communities profit from such operations," Blair added. Nigeria