The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, (NSCDC) in Rivers State, have impounded three trucks and eight other vehicles used in conveying stolen crude and refined petroleum products.
The State Commandant of the NSCDC, Mr. Muktar Lawal, who disclosed this to our correspondent on Tuesday, added that 12 suspected oil thieves were also arrested in various parts of the state by the corps.
The product is often concealed in trucks to prevent detection by security agents.
The NSCDC explained that the seized crude and refined petroleum products were packed in many polythene bags and stacked in the trucks, adding that the sawdust used to cover the products made them difficult to detect.
He added that the drivers abandoned the vehicles and took to their heels when the NSCDC officials flagged down the trucks. He stated, “Three trucks conveying crude oil suspected to have been stolen are among the 11 trucks seized by the personnel of the command.
“The three trucks were loaded with petroleum products packed in polythene bags. We were able to detect them based on the special training given to the anti-vandal team.”
Lawal added that the command envisaged the new tricks used by oil thieves to convey stolen crude and refined products to other destinations for sale, adding that he had trained some officers of the NSCDC in how to detect any vehicle conveying stolen oil.
Crude Oil Pipelines
The state NSCDC commandant, who assumed office in July, pointed out that apart from oil theft, some of the suspects were arrested for involvement in the diversion of fuel.
He explained that the special team that was trained immediately he resumed duty in the state had the capacity to also detect illegal dumps. Warning that oil thieves to give up their illicit business or be ready to face the full wrath of the law.
“I am warning the oil thieves in Rivers State to stop their illicit business because anybody caught in the act will be summarily dealt with”. Lawal said, “On July 31, 2019, a truck loaded with 14,000 litres of a petroleum product suspected to be illegally refined AGO was
apprehended at the Abonnima jetty in the Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of the Rivers State.
“On August 1, 2019, around 6 am, a short truck conveying a product suspected to be adulterated AGO was also arrested at the Abonnima jetty. “On the same date around noon, a truck loaded with suspected crude oil in a 24,000-litre tank specially constructed in the truck was also arrested at the SPDC pipeline, Aluu, on Shell’s right of way in Port Harcourt.
“On August 1, 2019, four suspects were arrested with unquantifiable bags filled with crude oil stacked in an open-bodied long lorry at the GRA junction in Port Harcourt City Local Government Area of the state.
On August 2, an open van loaded with suspected crude oil was also arrested at Macoba by the Ibeto Cement Industry road”.