Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps in Rivers State has confiscated a truck and a container conveying 20,400 litres of suspected adulterated Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) commonly called diesel.
The state’s Commandant, NSCDC, Muktar Lawal, who spoke in Port Harcourt, said the anti-vandal team of the command intercepted the truck and the container along Iwofe Road in Obio Akpo Local Government Area of the state.
He said about 50 drums, 208 litres per drum, were concealed in a Mack container truck with registration number Lagos XM 918 BDC.
It was gathered that the suspected oil thieves chose to convey their illicit products in a container to create an impression they were transporting harmless fast-consumer goods.
Investigations revealed that the products were packed in cellophane bags to beat security networks on the road.
Lawal said, “On December 10 at about 1230hours, a short truck with registration number AJA 110 XR Lagos loaded with about 10,000 litres of suspected adulterated AGO was apprehended along Iwofe Road, Obio Akpo LGA of Rivers State”.
He said four suspects were nabbed in connection with 40feet suspected vandalised petroleum oil pipes loaded in an open truck at Eteo Community in Eleme Local Government Area of the state.
He said a green Camry car, which was stuffed with cellophane bags of illegally refined kerosene was also arrested by his command, adding that eight suspects and five trucks were apprehended in different parts of the state for offences bordering on oil theft.
He said the command secured convictions of 98 oil thieves and pipeline vandals in Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt.
According to him, 74 other cases were still pending with 48 suspects facing trials at the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt.
“The command has recorded no fewer than 98 convictions so far in cases relating to illegal dealings in petroleum products, vandalism of petroleum pipelines, telecommunication facilities and other civil cases against the corps in the state”, he said.
Lawal said the local intelligence created by the command led to the arrest of 186 suspected oil thieves, 195 trucks and vehicles used for acts of vandalism within the year.
Lawal said the corps’ readiness to protect critical national assets remained non-negotiable, adding his command was determined to achieve its mandate.
He said, “On 4th December, 2020 at about at about 10:00 hours, a green Camry with registration number NKE 609 EV Ebonyi loaded with adulterated DPK (Kerosene) was arrested along Iwofe waterfront in Obio/Akpor local government area of the State.
“On the 6th December, 2020, at about 02:45, four suspects with two 40-feets suspected vandalized petroleum oil pipes loaded in an open bodied truck and a self-loader Truck with registration numbers ABC 767 XB Abuja and BGM 532 XA Rivers were arrested at Eteo community, Eleme lga, Rivers State.
“On the 11th December, 2020 at about 1240hrs, two suspected oil thieves and with Truck Registration number XB 840 SAP were arrested within Ahoada West LGA”.
He said most of the products, including Automated Gas Oil (AGO) were concealed in cellophane bags inside the trucks and vehicles to enable them evade arrest.
He said, “In a bid to check the excesses of oil thieves in the State, especially crude oil theft/vandalism, the Command has developed some internal mechanism which include creating local intelligence around the pipelines where these products pass to compliment the 24/7 patrol around the various locations. This has yielded positive results in 2020.”