The Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) Ondo State Command has announced the arrest of six suspected oil vandals, and vowed to clamp down on illegal oil bunkering in the state.
The men, Ashile Salami, Moruf Oluodunni, Usman Seidu, Rapheal Ayanmonina, Abraham Nwadike and Joseph Enabulele, were arrested at the caravan, Ago in Odigbo Village at the Odigbo local government area of Ondo State.
Parading the suspects, the State Commandant, Alhaji Popoola Waheed Bamidele, said his command will not leave no stone unturned in putting a total end to oil thefts in the region.
Two trucks with plate number XB 208 SGB EDO STATE and XA 341 MAK NIGER STATE, one pumping machine, a hose used for siphoning fuel from the NNPC pipeline and two motorcycles were recovered from them.
Bamidele said a 'had-war' and adequate surveillance will be deployed at strategic pipeline locations, warning that criminals found culpable will not go unpunished.
"Some of these people have been attacking our boys but we will remain committed in clamping down on oil bunkering activities in the state. The command remains resolute and we won’t stop on our mandate no matter whose ox is gored," he said.
The Public Relations Officer of the Command, Kayode Balogun, said the anti-vandalism unit of the NSCDC napped around 12: 45am during a routine surveillance patrol at the Nigerian National Petrol Commission (NNPC) in Odigbo village which runs to ore petrol depot.
He said the suspects had already vandalized the pipeline successfully, connecting the hose to the pipeline and pumping machine to siphon the petrol into their heavy trucks.
He further told SaharaReporters that the two trucks belonged to Conoil and Oando petrol stations. The Conoil vehicle, with registration number XB 208 SGB EDO STATE was loaded with 33, 000 litres of PMS as at the time of arrest, he said.
Some of the suspects who spoke to newsmen pleaded for forgiveness, saying they were lured into the business as a result of the economic situation in the country.
The Command also said it was intensifying efforts to arrest the fleeing members of the gang while the suspect will be charged to court.
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