Chukwudi Akasike, Port Harcourt
No fewer than 54 suspected oil thieves have been arrested by operatives of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Rivers State command.
The security outfit also reportedly seized 12 trucks, three boats, two buses, one vessel, a car, and 170 drums of adulterated petroleum products.
The NSCDC state Commandant, Mr Haruna Mohammed, while parading some of the suspects at the state command in Port Harcourt on Monday, said they were apprehended in different areas of Rivers State through the synergy with other security agencies.
Mohammed explained that the suspects were nabbed between May and September 2018, adding that oil thieves in the state had devised new ways of stealing oil.
He said, “The Anti-vandal Unit of the NSCDC, Rivers State command, in May 2018, arrested 11 suspects. Two fibre boats were seized in Osaka, while two trucks loaded with suspected adulterated AGO (diesel) were confiscated at Mgbuoba, in the Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State.
“In June 2018, five suspects with four trucks loaded with AGO were also arrested along Okochiri, Okrika LGA, Rivers State. On July 24, 2018, one Chinasa Sunday was arrested in Obagi community, in the Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni LGA for vandalising a pipeline belonging to Total E & P Nigeria Limited.
“Still in July, six suspects with two trucks, a bus, 170 drums loaded with adulterated AGO were arrested in Okrika, while one barge loaded with crude oil was seized in Abonemma. Also confiscated were two boat engines in Nkpor village of Obio/Akpor.”
The commandant said one Samson Levi was also arrested at Akaso 14 Flowline between Tuma and Cowthorne Channel area, adding that a boat was recovered from the suspect.
He explained that although some of the suspects had been charged to court, others would be prosecuted at the end of investigations.
Mohammed warned oil thieves to desist from the crime, saying anyone caught would not be spared.
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