Ben Dunno, Warri
Six members of a syndicate that specializes in crude oil theft along the Delta coastal area have been arrested by men of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Special Task Force on Pipeline Vandalism attached to Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC), Warri Refinery Depot.
The arrested suspects, including a woman, have been identified as Jonathan Ofawinor (M), Akpos Oba (M), Hausa Kamienyefa (M), Arukpei Yerin (M), Samson Matthew (M) and Ebi Emiyekpemi (F), all currently being detained at the IGP Task Force base in Warri.
Also impounded were three (3) speed boats, two (2) large wooden boats with pumping machines and long hoses with valves, including drums containing about 10,000 litres of locally refined product suspected to be AGO, also known as diesel.
The arrest, which was made along the coastal areas of Safi 1 and Safi 2, (notorious illegal bunkering camps) close to Ogbe-Ijoh in Warri South West Council area, at the weekend, was in line with IGP Mohammed Adamu’s zero tolerance on pipeline vandalism and crude oil theft.
Parading the suspects before newsmen, the Unit Commander, IGP Special Task Force, SP Mohammed El-Yakubu, said the arrest was made possible based on intelligence gathering efforts of his men who have shown a high decree of commitment to the IGP’s directive.
He explained that the operation would not have been possible if not for the trust and cooperation extended to the unit by the Commander General, ACP Usman Kafani Jibrin, who gave a propmt approval to go ahead when he was briefed about the operation.
SP El-Yakubu, also commemded the Delta State Police Commissioner, CP Adeyinka Adeleke, for the words of encouragement not to relent in the ongoing war against pipeline vandalism and crude oil theft within the unit coverage area, noting that such words had inspired his men to be more focused on the job.
According to him, “We want to assure all those who have reposed confidence in us like IGP Mohammed Adamu, our Commander General in Abuja, ACP Usman Kafani Jibrin and Delta State Police Commissioner, CP Adeyinka Adeleke, that we would continue to do our best in tackling the menace of pipeline vandalism within our operational areas.”
“While the six suspects would soon be charged to court to face the charges of economic sabotage, the impounded product would first be subjected to a laboratory test to confirm the content before being decounted by the DPR officials.”
He warned those behind the illicit oil trade still operating within the Warri waterways to desist, as the unit was not prepared to compromise the IGP’s zero tolerance position in the ongoing war against pipeline vandalism and crude oil theft in the area.