Abu Tambuwal, commandant, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, Rivers Command, said on Friday that the command arrested two suspects for allegedly diverting petroleum petrol to neighbouring countries.
This is contained in a statement issued by the command’s spokesman, DSC Olufemi Ayodele in Port Harcourt.
Mr Tambuwal said the male suspects were caught in the act by NSCDC anti-vandal border team, patrolling border communities in Rivers.
“Credible intelligence revealed that oil dealers were diverting petroleum products via states sharing borders with Rivers, from where they move the products to neighbouring countries.
“On receipt of the intelligence, our team swung into action and impounded a blue and white coloured 50,000 litre-capacity tanker truck with registration number: Abia EZA 850 YF.
“The suspects during investigation confessed that they lifted the petroleum product from Conoil Depot on Ibeto Road in Port Harcourt.
Mr Tambuwal said preliminary investigation showed the truck was tasked to deliver the product to a filling station in Ikwerre Local Government Area of the state.
“But rather than discharge the petroleum product at Omo Wealth Station, the suspects manoeuvred to the border between Rivers and Imo States en route neighbouring countries.
“They (suspects) were subsequently arrested and will be charged to court as soon as investigation is concluded.
“The petrol will be returned to Omo Walth filling station to avert fuel scarcity in the area,” he added.
The commandant assured members of the public of the command’s commitment to ridding the state of pipeline vandals, oil thieves and unlawful dealers of petroleum products.
Mr Tambuwal further confirmed that the command was in custody of 17 suspected oil thieves and six wooden boats handed over to it by the Nigerian Navy in Port Harcourt.
According to him, the navy intercepted the suspects and the boats during a routine patrol targeted at illegal oil bunkers in the creeks and waterways in the state.
“The suspects allegedly stored an unspecified quantity of petroleum products suspected to be illegally refined diesel and kerosene inside cellophane bags concealed in sacks.
“Investigation is ongoing to ascertain the source of the petroleum product while the suspects will be prosecuted in court if found culpable,” he added.