NSCDC recovers 200 drums of crude oil, navy seizes truckloads of diesel
The Cross River State command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps on Wednesday arrested seven suspected oil thieves with over 200 drums of adulterated crude worth over N10m.
The state Commandant of the NSCDC, Mr Stephen Lar, at the Jebbs area in Calabar South, said the arrest was made following intelligence report.
He said the command had declared zero tolerance for illegal oil bunkering in the state, adding that the suspects would be prosecuted.
Lar said, “In keeping with our core mandate of protecting Nigeria’s critical national asset, particularly the oil sector, we carried out an operation this morning (Wednesday) following a tip-off.
“This channel is being used in taking illegal bunkering product into the town. We came here and found out that they were illegally transporting adulterated petroleum product through this channel.
“We were able to recover 200 drums of adulterated crude and we arrested seven suspects. Some of the suspects escaped and we are trailing them.
“Cross River State has no pipeline, but it is a route for oil thieves. When they have gone to other places to carry out illegal activities, they pass through Cross River.”
The commandant said the NSCDC was determined to ensure that the route was no longer used by bunkerers.
He further said the act portended a serious danger to the country’s economy, expressing dissatisfaction with individuals who created artificial refinery to refine the adulterated product.
“This type of product causes a lot of damage to our vehicles and engines. We must continue to monitor this route in order to prevent all forms of illegality.
“We shall not relent in our effort in making sure that criminality on the maritime sector is stopped. We are also working with the Nigerian Navy to ensure a safer maritime domain,” he added.
The commandant warned those involved in the illegal act to desist, adding that the command had operatives everywhere to arrest them.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Navy Ship Jubilee, in Ikot Abasi, Akwa Ibom State, has seized three truckloads of illegal diesel and arrested six suspects for illegal oil bunkering.
Five storage tanks, generators and oil hoses were also retrieved from an illegal refinery in Ikot Ibiok, in the Eket Local Government Area.
The Executive Officer of the NNS Jubilee, Captain Suleiman Ibrahim, who represented the Commander, NNS Jubilee, Commodore Ayerinade Akinwale, said the base apprehended the suspects through intelligence report.
He said, “We received credible intelligence on October 23. On that basis, we deployed our anti-crude oil team and we went to the spot where we intercepted an illegal operation.
“You have seen three trucks which are fully loaded with illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil and there are also five storage tanks. We were also lucky to have arrested six suspects who were remotely connected to this operation.
“We can only arrest and hand them over to the NSCDC team which would then prosecute the suspects. We appeal to all those involved in these illegal activities to desist from them because it is not only an economic crime, it is an environmental crime. But if they refuse, wherever they are, we will get them.”
One of the suspects, Eyakeno Isaac, said he was introduced to the business by his friend.
He added that he was a mason and was involved in the illegal business because he had not been receiving jobs and wanted to survive.
The navy thereafter handed over the suspects to the NSCDC, Akwa Ibom State command.
The Head of the Anti-Bunkering unit of the state NSCDC, Essien Henshaw, stated that the suspects would be prosecuted.