NSCDC arrests syndicate smuggling diesel, crude oil in Delta
Delta State Command of the Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), yesterday, paraded four suspects for smuggling Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) in nylon sachets, jerry cans, and other exhibits in the last two weeks.
Automotive gas oil, also known as diesel, is generated from crude distillation process and is used to power internal combustion diesel engines.The state’s commandant, Suleiman Jimoh, said the four suspects, led by one Friday Collins, were arrested on July 23, by a joint patrol team led by the Nigerian Navy.
He said the suspects were in possession of about 61 stolen pipes belonging to Sterling Oil Exploration and Energy Producing Company Ltd (SEEPCO) along Anieze junction, Obodo Oyibo in Ndokwa East Local Council of Delta State.
He said: “The suspects were handed over to Delta State Command of NSCDC. Exhibits handed over include one blue coloured 911 Mercedes Benz Tipper with registered number DELTA – ASB1957F and 61 pieces of 4mm of stolen gas pipes, belonging to SEEPCO, Obodo Oyibo, Ndokwa East Local Council of Delta State. The suspects and exhibits are currently in our custody for investigation and possible prosecution.”
Jimoh, who paraded the suspects and the items stolen, said: “On July 21, at about 01:30hrs, the Anti-vandal team on routine patrol of East West Road, Patani, Delta State, intercepted a white Ford van with registered number plate Lagos – KRD786YE with the driver, Mr Irekpita Justice Ezekiel.
According to Jimoh, when the driver was interrogated, he revealed that he was carrying waybills of red oil from Water land, Izuru Park, Port Harcourt, Rivers State to Lagos State.
“But, a careful search of the jerry cans revealed another level of concealment and smuggling of AGO in the name of red oil. The syndicate bagged AGO in nylon bags inside the jerrycans, cut a plastic bottle in half and forced it into each of the jerrycans and poured red oil on the plastic bottle and covered it to beat security.
“Following this development, the driver was arrested and moved to their Base in Patani, Delta State where 45 jerry cans each of 25 litres capacity were kept.
“With the help of NSCDC Lagos State Command and the logistics company, who are owners of the vehicle, two of the receivers were arrested in Lagos on July 22, and were transferred to us the following day for action.
“The Command invited the Nigeria Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) for sample taking and analysis of the AGO. Investigations are still ongoing,” he added.
The NSCDC boss also revealed his patrol team had on July 29, at about 22:00hrs, intercepted a blue Toyota Camry (pencil light) with registration number WWR 634 PR, and when searched, the trunk was discovered to contain nylon bags laden with stolen crude oil and the back seat had nylon bags and Jerry cans filled with stolen crude oil, three hoses and a valve used in siphoning the crude.
According to him, the vehicle was intercepted along Hospital Road, Jeddo, Okpe Local Council of the state, but the driver abandoned the vehicle and escaped, on sighting NSCDC patrol team.
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