Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri
The Imo State Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), on Tuesday, paraded five suspected vandals, who reportedly specialised in breaking of oil pipelines and indulge in illegal bunkering .
The suspects were caught by NSCDC officials with a truck-load of petroleum products concealed in polythene sacks, suspected to have been siphoned from vandalised pipelines.
Commandant of NSCDC in the state, Stephen Lar, while conducting newsmen round the seized items, disclosed that the impounded truck was conveying about 20,000 litres of diesel before it was intercepted by his men on Saturday night along the Owerri/Onitsha road.
Lar disclosed that on sighting the officers who were on routine patrol, the suspects attempted to escape but were chased and caught by the operatives.
“When my men saw the truck while on routine patrol along Onitsha road, they pursued it and intercepted it. Upon searching it, they discovered that they were conveying bunkered petroleum products that were concealed in polythene sacks to beat security checks,” Lar said.
He expressed worry that the vandals have devised new means to beat security checks by using vehicles belonging to reputable companies to convey stolen petroleum products, saying that, “it is worrisome that these criminals use vehicles of reputable companies to carry these products, when you see them you will think that they were carrying cement or other goods”.
Lar, who warned youths to keep away from crime, assured that the suspects would be arraigned in court after preliminary investigations and made to face the full wrath of the law if found guilty, to serve as a deterrent to others.