Defence & Security

Oil theft: Rivers NSCDC arrests 19 suspects, impounds 2 trucks, 7 cars, 3 wooden boats

By Chris Ezeonoh, Port Harcourt

The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, (NSCDC) Rivers State Command has arrested 19 suspects for alleged involvement in oil theft and illegal dealings in petroleum products.

Addressing newsmen at the Command headquarters Monday in Port Harcourt, the State Commandant Michael Ogar decried the attitude of oil thieves and those engaging in illegal bunkering activities noting that in spite of the continuous sensitization and relentless war against economic sabotage in the nation, those milking the nation’s wealth through illegal oil dealings have blatantly refused to change their ways.

Commandant Ogar maintained that sequel to the reconstitution of a new Anti-vandal Team of the Command, the Marine and land Patrol operatives have commenced full operations with a renewed vigour, professionalism and tactics in waging war against the menace of vandalism of oil pipelines and oil theft in Rivers State.

” As directed by the NSCDC Commandant General, Dr Ahmed Abubakar Audi, a marching order was given to the Marine and Land operatives to massively arrest pipeline vandals and illegal oil dealers in the State and this has enhanced our doggedness in the series of arrests made by the Command”.

“The Marine and Land Patrol teams arrested 19 suspects at different locations in the state; 4 suspects named: Peter Udo ‘M’ 20years, Benjamin God’s power ‘M’ 16years, God’s gift Nicholas ‘M’ 19years and Goodness Sunday ‘M’ aged 19year were arrested with One (1) Big wooden boat and a 40 HP outboard engine along Bakana river close to Bakana Community in Degema Local Government Area of Rivers State.

“In addition, 3 suspects named: Jacob Fewu ‘M’ 23years, George George ‘M’ 20years and Stanley Bruce ‘M’ 20years were arrested with One (1) wooden boat laden with 10,000 litres of illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil (AGO), a 40 HP Outboard Engine used for propelling the boat.

“The Marine team in an all-night tactical operation arrested 2 additional suspects named: Ade Monday 27 years and Abiola Gift 29years with One (1) wooden boat, 25 drums (6,250 litres) of illegal refined AGO and One (1) 15 HP outboard engine”, the Commandant stated.

According to him, following a tip-off, the Anti-vandal Unit also uncovered a building used as a dump site for storing locally refined AGO along Cornerstone junction in Ogbogoro, Obio Akpo Local Government Area.

“We discovered an underground tanker containing unquantified litres of locally refined AGO, a plastic tank containing about 3,500 litres of AGO and a pumping machine. The entire compound is now under seal and manned by our personnel while the Command would continue to chase the culprits until they are arrested and prosecuted accordingly”

Also in another development, 5 suspects were arrested at Oyakama community in Ahoada west LGA and Njemanze street in Port Harcourt.

They are: Onorode Daniel 34years, Samuel Odirode 32years, Charles Okeke 43years, Uche I’ve 32years and Chinedu Iroanya 36 years all Male.

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“They were caught with an ash colour Toyota Sequoia SUV with number plate: LAGOS Epe 539 AT laden with about 1,000 litres of AGO, a Golden colour Toyota Camry Car with about 1,500 litres of illegally refined AGO, an ash colour Toyota Camry Car with registration number Rivers BER 951 MU, a green colour Toyota Camry Car with number plate: Rivers AH 824 AHD laden with illegally refined AGO concealed in cellophane and packed in sack bags which totalled 5,000 litres”.

The Commandant further said that another building close to Akpos Jetty in Abuloma community in Port Harcourt was also uncovered while the Suspects took to their heels upon sighting the NSCDC operatives adding that a short green and white colour DAF CF 250 Truck with number plate LAGOS EKY 206 XS laden with illegally refined AGO and Pumping Machine were recovered as exhibits.

“The land Patrol team also arrested 5 suspects along Agwu/ Elechi street Mile 1 Diobu, Port Harcourt. They are: Musa Mohammed 36years, Elisha Iyalla 18 years, Iyeneobong Emmanuel 25 years, Felix Ukele 45years and Mba Awajimimam aged 42years.

“We recovered from them a green colour Sienna Car with registration number LAGOS DL 218 APP laden with 800 litres of AGO and a Truck branded liquid bulk with number plate LAGOS EKY 852 XS laden Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).

“This was followed by the arrest of Ifeanyi Nwauwa 43years along Azikiwe road who was driving one gold colour Toyota Camry with number plate ABUJA HX 937 ABC laden with illegally refined AGO”

The Commandant said to serve as a deterrent to those still getting involved in the unscrupulous and illegitimate business, all the arrested suspects would be charged to court of competent jurisdiction while the Command would do everything possible to unravel, chase and apprehend their sponsors.

He further assured that the Command would further approach the court with application for forfeitures of both the contents and the mode of conveying the products as well as ensure the proceeds would be remitted in the federal government coffers.

” Let me reiterate our commitment to the war against oil theft and illegal dealings in petroleum products in Rivers State. The perpetrators should either relocate or risk facing the full wrath of the law”, he maintained.

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