The Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps, NSCDC, Rivers State Command on Wednesday said it has arrested 2 suspects for vandalism of oil pipelines.
The command also said it impounded 1 wooden boat conveying locally-refined Automotive Gas Oil, AGO popularly called Diesel and as well took over another 9 suspects, 2 wooden boats and 2 fibre boats arrested by the Nigerian Navy Ship PATHFINDER in Rivers State.
According to the Public Relations Officer of the NSCDC Rivers State Command, DSC Olufemi Ayodele, the operation was with renewed vigour and intensified efforts to fight against Vandalism and illegal dealings in petroleum products.
While addressing the newsmen at the Command Headquarters of the NSCDC in Port Harcourt, the Acting State Commandant, DC Claire Okpo explained that the arrests underscores the commitment of the command to fight pipeline vandalism to a standstill in Rivers state.
“The anti-vandal border patrol team arrested Tochukwu Uzoigwe, Male (25years), whose accomplice is still at large for Pipeline Vandalism, unlawful tampering with Nigeria AGIP Oil Company Pipelines, conspiracy and sabotage of Critical National Assets and Infrastructures.
“Avowed to leave no stone unturned on my assumption of duty, after I recently took over the Command leadership, I affirmed that the command under my watch will not go below the already existing standard in the fight against criminalities in the State,” she said.
The Acting Commandant said the suspect was arrested while conveying already vandalized Oil pipelines in a Toyota Bus with registration number Anambra NSH 252 YY at Mbiama road in Ahoada West Local Government.
“In addition, the Marine team of the Command anti-vandal squad patrolling the waterways, impounded an abandoned wooden boat containing AGO while 9 suspects, 2 wooden boats and 2 fibre boats were handed over to the command by the NNS PATHFINDER based on the existing interagency collaborations and Synergy,” Okpo said.
She revealed that the preliminary investigation report showed that 1 of the suspects arrested in connection with sabotage of Critical National Assets and Infrastructures negotiated about ₦320,000 and paid ₦250,000 for the vandalized pipelines.
She further told the newsmen that the Command Marine Team on waterways patrol along Bakana open river, impounded a wooden boat with 8HP engine laden with locally refined AGO; and the suspects upon sighting the NSCDC Marine Team dived into the waters and abandoned the wooden boat with its contents.
The Rivers NSCDC boss affirmed that all the 11 suspects would be charged to a court of competent jurisdiction while application for forfeitures of the products and mode of conveyance would be made and proceeds be remitted to the Federal Government coffers.
“Let me reassure the public that we will not relent in our commitment to combating the menace of illegal oil bunkering both on land and waterways especially as such condemnable act often lead to environmental degradation, pollution and economic sabotage of the nation.
“Our synergy with sister security agencies remains very robust.
“We enjoin the public to continue to give us credible intelligence that would assist in nipping in the bud all perpetrators who definitely will not go unpunished,” Okpo assured.