By Hannah Nathan, Warri
Two suspected thieves of crude oil have been detained by the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) on suspicion of participating in illicit oil refinery operations and pipeline vandalism in Rivers State.
CSC Babawale Afolabi, the NSCDC spokesperson, made this disclosure on Friday in Abuja.
According to Afolabi, the suspects were taken into custody by the Special Intelligence Squad (SIS) of the Commandant General (CG) following an intelligence tip from well-meaning Nigerians.
He said the team recovered a bottle of crude oil, eight illicit refineries, cooking pots that were found scattered across the suspects’ possession, one motorcycle, and a welding tongue.
He said that a list of accomplices’ names and the truck line points of a multinational oil company were also recovered from them.
But he emphasised that the discovered illegal refineries were destroyed because they could not be moved.
The statement also revealed that the accused vandals admitted, during questioning, that they were travelling to refine crude oil that they had stolen by damaging an international oil company’s pipeline.
The names of five additional accomplices who are still at large were mentioned by the suspects, he continued.
According to Afolabi, the CG’s SIS was working to make sure the other suspects were apprehended and taken in for additional questioning and investigation, following which they would face charges in court.
He reaffirmed the dedication and unwavering readiness of NSCDC Commandant General Ahmed Audi to put an end to the evil practices of theft of crude oil, illicit sales of petroleum products, and destruction of oil pipelines.