The Rivers State Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps has arrested 19 suspects on account of their alleged involvement in Oil theft and illegal dealings in petroleum products.

This was made known by the Rivers State Commandant of NSCDC, MICHAEL OGAR, while parading the suspects before newsmen at the Command Headquarters in Port Harcourt on Monday.

The NSCDC boss in Rivers State, MICHAEL OGAR decried the defiant 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 from the Nation’s wealth through illegal oil dealings have blatantly refused to change their ways.

State Commandant OGAR maintained that sequel to the reconstitution of a new Antivandal Team of the Command, the Marine and land Patrol operatives has commenced full operations with a renewed vigour, professionalism and tactics in wagging 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 mni, 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 team arrested 19 suspects at different locations in the State; 4 Suspects named: PETER UDO ‘M’ 20years, BENJAMIN GODSPOWER ‘M’ 16years, GODSGIFT 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 illegaly refined Automotive Gas Oil (AGO), a 40 HP Outboard Engine used for propelling the boat.

The Marine team in an all night tactical operations arrested 2 additional suspects named: ADE MONDAY -27 years and ABIOLA GIFT -29years with One (1) wooden boat, 25 drums (6,250 litres) of illegally refined AGO and One (1) 15 HP outboard engine.

Following a tip off, the Antivandal Unit also uncovered a building used as 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 tiil they are arrested and prosecuted accordingly.

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 IKE -32years and CHINEDU IROANYA -36 years all Male.

They were in conveyance of 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 illegaly 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 illegaly refined AGO concealed in cellophane and packed in sack bags, which totalled 5,000 litres.

Another building close to Akpos Jetty in Abuloma community in Port Harcourt LGA was also uncovered while the suspects took to their heels upon sighting the NSCDC operatives; 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 -18years, IYENEOBONG EMMANUEL -25years, 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 in conveyance of One (1) Gold colour Toyota Camry with number plate ABUJA HX 937 ABC laden with Illegaly refined AGO.

The NSCDC boss said the latest arrest would serve as deterrent to those still getting involved in this unscrupulous and illegitimate business.

He disclosed that all the arrested suspects would be charged to court soon while the Command would do everything possible to unravel, chase and apprehend their sponsors.

The NSCDC noted that the Command would further approach the court with application for forfeitures of both the contents and the mode of conveyance and the proceeds would definitely 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”.

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