THE Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) says it has arrested a suspect for alleged oil theft in Rivers State and impounded its carrier trucks.
Disclosing this in a statement he issued to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Port Harcourt on Friday, November 18, the commandant of the Corps in the state, Michael Ogar, said the trucks were impounded for conveying petroleum products without haulage licences and other required documents.
The suspect, Abubakar Suleiman, 20, was arrested for conveying illegally refined products in a truck in Port Harcourt.
The statement read, “Based on sustained intelligence, our anti-vandal team arrested one suspect who loaded petroleum products in hidden tanks on the truck and used animal feeds to cover them, so as to divert the attention of security men on the way, but with the eagle eyes of our men, the products were discovered and the truck was impounded and the suspect arrested.
“Following a tip-off, we also impounded a long truck with registration number OGUN DED 643 XB. The suspects, upon sighting our men, took to their heels,”
The statement said the truck was conveying illegally refined automotive gas oil with packs of noodles to deceive security operatives.
“While on routine patrol at Mbiama in Ahoada West Local Government area, the Rivers Joint Task Force, made up of the Nigerian Army, the Navy, the Air force, the Police and the NSCDC, impounded three trucks for transporting illegally refined petroleum products.
“We impounded a white truck with registration number AFM 604 XA conveying an estimated value of 54,000 litres of premium motor spirit, popularly called petrol.
“A white IVECO truck with registration number DKA 374 XE was also impounded while transporting PMS (petrol) with estimated value of 52,000 litres,” the statement added.
Ogar, stating that the last three trucks had been taken to the command’s exhibit yard at Ogbogoro jetty, disclosed that another truck loaded with 36,000 litres of petrol was also impounded by the security operatives.
The Commandant assured that the operatives would continue to fight against oil theft and illegal deals in petroleum products in Rivers State.
He added that the NSCDC in the state would continue to collaborate with relevant security agencies to rid the state of illegal oil bunkering.
“I can assure you that after a thorough investigation, the suspect will be charged to court, while the tankers and the content will be forfeited to the Federal Government,” he said.
He warned the perpetrators to repent from engaging in such heinous crimes or face the full wrath of the law.
Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: firstname.lastname@example.org. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M