The Warri branch Chairman of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Famous Umukoro, has been arrested.
He was picked up by the Joint Military Task Force in the Niger Delta codenamed, Operation Delta Safe for alleged involvement in illegal bunkering.
Umukoro was said to have been arrested alongside one Rudolf Chukwunalu by the personnel of the Sector 1, Operation Delta Safe, in Effurun, Delta State, and were handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
A statement from the EFCC on Tuesday indicates that Chukwunalu was arrested while pumping stolen petroleum product from a barge into a truck and selling same to Umukoro.
The EFCC statement read: “The Port Harcourt Zonal Office of the EFCC has commenced investigation into an alleged illegal oil bunkering case involving Mr Umukoro, Chairman, Independent Marketers, Warri branch, and one Rudolf Chukwunalu.
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“Chukwunalu was arrested by officers of the Sector 1, Operation Delta Safe, Effurun, Delta State. According to the handover notice by Operation Delta Safe, the suspect was apprehended on February 21, 2020, while pumping suspected stolen crude oil from a barge into a DAF truck with number plate, Delta PTN 353 XA, at the Ugbolokposo jetty, Warri.
“Under questioning, Chukwunalu claimed that he bought the crude oil from a sailor at the Yingi Yard, along the Enerhen River, and intended to sell the product to Famous Umukoro, who allegedly paid him N280,000 to enable him to load the product into the truck.”
The EFCC further disclosed that its officials had collected the sample of the product for analysis by the Department of Petroleum Resources, while adding that the suspects will be charged to court after the conclusion of ongoing investigation.