The Delta State Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), has paraded eight suspects in connection with crude oil theft and pipeline vandalisim.
The command’s Public Relations Officer, DSC Emeka Peters Okwechime, in a statement Sunday, noted that the arrest was as a result of the command’s recently-launched Special Tactical Team, code named “Operation Show No Mercy To Crude Oil Thieves, Pipeline Vandals Amongst Other Crimes and Criminalities” in the state.
He said that barely 24 hours into the team’s operations, they arrested some suspected crude oil thieves and vandals along the Warri Sapele Road and those illegally dealing in petroleum products suspected to be Dual Purpose Kerosine (DPK) and Automated Gasoline Oil (AGO).
DSC Emeka Okwechime gave the names of the arrested suspects as Mr Salisu Ibrahim 22 years (m), Idris Ilia 23 years (m) and Usman Adamu 32 years (m).
“The team also busted and sealed up an illegal dumpsite used in dealing and storing of illegally refined petroleum product suspected to be AGO close to the Niger Cat junction in Uvwie LGA of Delta State which led to the arrest of two other suspects who gave their names as Aminu Garuba 32 years (m) and Usman Tasiu 19 years (m).
“The team also swooped on black marketers at the Warri Sapele highway, who are illegally dealing in petroleum products suspected to be AGO where several drums of illegally refined products were destroyed and two suspects arrested.
Also paraded, according to him, was a 40-year-old Mrs Blessing Ojewale, who engaged in illegal dealing of petroleum product suspected to be Dual Purpose Kerosine (DPK) concealed in about 30 polythene sacks estimated to be about 1000 litres of DPK loaded in a Toyota Sienna bus with the registration number LSR 832 CZ used in conveying the product.
“She was arrested on the 12th of September 2022 at about 1600hrs at Ebendo along Kwale road by the Commandant Special Tactical Team, while the driver jumped into the bush upon sighting the men of the NSCDC.
Delta NSCDC spokesman further disclosed that one Idogor Sunday (m) was also arrested with about 27 25 litres Jerry cans of petroleum product suspected to be DPK loaded in a Mitsubishi Space Runner bus with registration number CL 374 ABC.
“He was arrested at Kwale Junction in Ogwash-Uku along the Asaba Kwale highway at about 1930hrs on the 12th of September 2022 by the Commandant Special Tactical Team.”
DSC Emeka Okwechime, however, said that the sting operations and raiding would continue until the state is sanitised of crude oil thieves and pipeline vandals.
All the arrested suspects, he said, would be charged to court upon conclusion of investigation in order for them to face the full weight of the law and to serve as deterrent to would-be criminals.
Recalls that recently, the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation Limited NNPCL had decried huge oil theft amounting to over $700 million dollars monthly, a trend they were determined to stop.