• Crime
  • Updated: May 18, 2024

Rivers: NSCDC uncovers illegal refinery, dismantles over 100,000 litres of stolen crude

Rivers: NSCDC uncovers illegal refinery, dismantles over 100

The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps Commandant General's Special Intelligence Squad has demolished an illegal refinery in Adobe village, Etche Local Government Area, Rivers State, which contained over 100,000 litres of stolen crude oil.

Dandaura Appolos, Commander of the CG's SIS, stated that the success was due to reliable intelligence showing that suspects vandalised a multinational company's wellhead.

He further stated that the suspects used galvanised metal pipes and huge hoses to syphon and locally process crude oil.

In a statement released on Saturday, NSCDC Spokesman Babawale Afolabi stated that the SIS swiftly responded on the tip, identifying several sites where extensive illicit refining operations were taking place.

“Just as we value and protect our informants, the information received is always treated with caution and prompt alertness. As soon as we arrived, the suspect took to their heels, but we were able to arrest one Godspower Oyibo (M), 32 years old, from Delta State, who is now assisting us with further investigation.

“On the crime scene, there were reservoirs cemented with trampoline and filled with approximately 100,000 litres of crude oil.

“The following exhibits were sighted: a yellow-coloured Robin EY 20 pumping machine, galvanized metal pipes, long large hoses, an already vandalised wellhead, stolen crude worth 100,000 litres stored in reservoirs, calibrated surface tanks, processed AGO in cooking pots, and metal buckets,” he was quoted as saying.

In a related report, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, Benue command, has apprehended 11 suspected NNPC pipeline vandals at the Apir Depot in Makurdi. 

Yakubu Ibrahim, the NSCDC commandant in Benue, made this known on Friday during a tour of the depot with journalists to assess the extent of damage to the Yola line caused by vandals. 

According to the commandant, the suspects were arrested based on credible intelligence, leading to the deployment of a team from the anti-vandal and rapid response squad units on May 14.

“On reaching the scene that day, the vandals, who probably got wind of our men’s coming, went into hiding.

“That day some of their working equipment, two shovels, one small hoe, one red Jincheng motorcycle and 16 pieces of 10-foot NNPC pipelines were recovered from them. However, today luck ran out of them and they were caught in the act,’’ he said.

Ibrahim said that such massive destruction of national assets had been going on for a while, and no resident of the Apir community reported the matter. He alleged that they were complicit in the activities of the vandals.

“We have farmers, residents, youths and community leaders in this area and the act has gone on for months. They chose to remain silent, so they are accomplices in this crime and they cannot go scot-free.

“We will not rest until we arrest the masterminds of this crime because they are no longer satisfied with stealing what is in the pipeline, but now digging out the whole pipeline to sell them for peanuts.

“Whoever is involved in this dastardly act is out to knock down the economy of the nation so he must be brought to book,’’ he said.

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