The anti-oil theft task force, commonly known as Operation Pulo Shield, OPPS, on Friday announced that its has caught nine suspected oil thieves in the act in Ugheli, Delta State.
The joint military outfit, which was engaged to protect oil installations in the Niger Delta, said the suspected oil thieves were arrested within an oilfield operated by Mid Western Oil Company in Ugheli, Delta State.
The spokesman of OPPS, Isa Ado, a Lt. Colonel, said its men succeeded in the arrest which happened on October 17, 2015, following credible intelligence from public spirited Nigerians.
“The troops in Sector 1, 222 Battalion, Ughelli led by the Commanding Officer, Lt.-Col Matthew Oyekola patrolling Ozoro/Owelogho in Isoko North LGA, Delta arrested nine oil thieves,” Ado said.
He said the suspects “were trying to siphon crude oil from oil pipeline belonging to Mid Western Oil Company” and were arrested with a Volkswagen Passat car with registration number, IMO KGE 17 XD.
Ado said the suspects were already getting ready at the bunkering site with valve and hoses to gain access to the oil company’s pipeline before loading crude to trucks and tankers at about 2:45 am on October 17 when they were arrested.
The task force spokesman explained further that the troops had initially seized several trucks and tankers without suspects in the past and credited the successful arrest to the tip-offs.
According to him, preliminary investigations indicate that youths of the host community collaborate with the suspects by providing access to the pipeline.
He, however, appealed to the people in the oil communities to caution their youths against aiding oil theft and sabotaging the economy of the nation, urging them to give useful information to the troops.
Ado assured that the outfit would remain vigilant always and carry out its operations professionally in accordance to regulations.