The Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) has arrested 19 suspected oil thieves in Rivers State.
The operatives also seized 400 drums of suspected illegally refined Automotive Gasoline Oil in the operation within the last week.
The Rivers State Commandant of NSCDC, Abu Abdu Tambuwal, while parading the suspects in Port Harcourt, said the suspects were nabbed in different parts of the state.
Tambuwal disclosed that the command discovered and destroyed 53 illegal refineries sites in different parts of the state.
He assured that the command is resolved in taking the war against illegal oil refining and oil theft to all parts of the state, assuring that those arrested will be charged to court at the end of investigation.
Tambuwal said: “We have not taken the fight against vandalism of our natural resources to the creeks alone but every identified illegal dumps in this state. Today, the Command has so far destroyed so many illegal dumps sited within residential areas and watersides.
“We are here again parading a total of 19 suspected oil thieves, A Nissan Primera car ladened with suspected illegally refined AGO; three trucks and one bus; a wooden boat; over 400 drums filled with Illegally refined AGO and two Yamaha boat engines used for acts of vandalism were also impounded.
“Also, as part of the measures put in place to drastically reduce and if possible, to wipe out every trace of adulterated petroleum products from moving freely in the state, several illegal oil dumps where these adulterated products are kept were also destroyed.
“On 4th February, 2022 at about 1336hrs, nine suspected oil thieves were intercepted and arrested at an illegal oil dumpsite located around a church compound in Borokiri. A Green Nissan Car ladened with suspected illegally refined petroleum products (AGO) was recovered from the suspects.
“Same day at about 0215hrs along Elele-Alimini Axis Of East West Road In Lkwerre LGA of Rivers State, the Command impounded a White Colour Ford Bus with registration number Abia AR183UMA loaded with an unspecified quantity of illegally refined AGO concealed In sacks.
“On 5th February, 2022 at about I545hrs at Rumuaparaeli Waterfront in Obio-Akpor LGA, personnel of the Command’s Marine Patrol Team impounded a wooden boat commonly known as pour-put, laden with unquantified suspected illegally refined AGO. Alongside the wooden boat that was recovered are two Yamaha 40horsepower outboard engines.”
Tambuwal commends Governor Nyesom Wike for assisting the Corp in the fight against oil theft, calling for more synergy to bring the activities to the bearest minimum.
“All the exhibits are here in the State Headquarters and at the Command’s marine exhibits yard in Ogbogoro, while the arrested suspects are currently undergoing thorough interrogation and will be charged to court for possible prosecution.”