The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), on Monday paraded 21 suspected oil thieves arrested in Rivers State.
The State Commandant of the Corps, Muktar Lawal, while parading the suspects before newsmen, said a barge, two trucks and two buses used to convey the stolen crude oil and illegally-refined petroleum products had been impounded.
He reiterated his commitment to ensure the protection of the critical national assets in the state.
His words: “On August 17, at 0400hrs, the anti-vandal patrol team of NSCDC, Rivers State Command, arrested six suspects and two open-bodied trucks, belonging to Dangote Company, along Eleme Refinery Road, Port Harcourt. The trucks were loaded with a product suspected to be illegally-refined AGO (diesel), concealed in unquantifiable polythene bags, hidden beneath bags of salt.
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“On August 18, at 0100HRS, a J5 bus, loaded with suspected AGO, concealed in 30 50-litre jerry cans, was also impounded along Abonema Wharf Road, Port Harcourt. Nobody was arrested, as the suspects fled on sighting the anti-vandal team.
“Also on August 18, at 0210hrs, three suspects and a Sienna bus, with registration number BDG 906 FB, fully loaded with product suspected to be illegally-refined AGO, concealed in nylon bags, were also arrested along UTC Junction, Port Harcourt.
“At 1400hrs on August 18, a barge with six compartments, four filled with suspected crude oil, was seized at a creek within Deutsch Island, Okrika Local Government Area of Rivers State. The barge is currently at the NSCDC Jetty in Ogbogoro-Port Harcourt.”
However, Lawal also revealed that 11 suspects were handed over to the Corps by Operation Delta Safe (OPDS) and the Nigerian Army, on the grounds of illegally dealing in oil business in Rivers.
Rivers commandant of NSCDC added that the arrested suspects were currently being interrogated.
He said they would be charged to court for possible prosecution, after investigations were concluded.
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