From Joseph Obukata, Warri
Operatives of the solid mineral unit of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corp (NSCDC), have arrested three suspected illegal miners in Ugbokodo Waterside in Okpe Local Government Area of Delta State.
According to the State Commandant of the NSCDC, Akinsanya Iskilu Abiodun, who spoke through the Public Relations Officer, DSC Emeka Peters Okwechime, the suspects were apprehended after receiving a tip-off.
Okwechime, in a statement made available to journalists in Warri, identified the suspects as Emmanuel Eze, 32, from Ebonyi state, Samuel Ige, 40, from Oyede in the Isoko North Local Government Area of Delta, and Isa Idris, 18, from Kano state.
The suspects who had been granted administrative bail, according to him, would be brought before the court after the investigation was concluded.
The Delta Command of the NSCDC claims that by December of this year, the recent wave of crude oil theft, pipeline vandalism, illegal dealings in petroleum products, and other types will be history.
According to Dsc Okwechime, acting on a directive from the president and the NSCDC’s Commandant General, Dr. Abubakar Audi Ahmed, the Delta State Commandant of the NSCDC, Akinsanya Iskilu, has urged his men to engage in kinetic and spontaneous operations through a well-coordinated but radical strategy that was launched by members of the Commandant Tactical Squad and the Rejigged Anti-Vandal Squad with the aim of bringing the low, high, and mighty to justice.
The squad was tasked with searching every forest, bush, compound, creek, water body, station, dump site, dump yard, and other locations sufficiently suspected of being used for sabotage or illegal dealing in petroleum products.
The squad, according to him, was also charged with the responsibility of seizing, arresting, and bringing all trucks, boats, SUVs, vandalised items, power installations, telecommunications, railway installations, and other public infrastructures to the State Headquarters in Asaba.
The public relations officer mentioned that the command, in parallel operations, destroyed artisanal refineries in Alfa Marine in Koko, Warri North Council headquarters, while outlining the accomplishments of the command that had recently been recorded.
He claimed that when they spotted members of the Rejigged Anti-Vandal Squad (RAS), the suspects jumped into rivers and swamps.
Dsc Okwechime stated that plainclothes personnel have been strategically placed throughout the LGA in an effort to apprehend the fleeing suspects.
Okwechime disclosed that the NSCDC RAS destroyed and set on fire various pieces of equipment and instruments used in the illegal dealings in petroleum products, including large metal tanks, drums containing petroleum product suspected to be AGO, hoses used by the Vandals, and other items.