Six suspected crude oil thieves, including a woman, have been nabbed by a team of the Inspector-General of Police Special Task Force on Pipeline Vandalism near, Ogbe-Ijoh, Warri South-West council area of Delta state, at the weekend.

The arrest was made along the coastal areas of Safi 1 and Safi 2.

The police team, which is attached to the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC), Warri Refinery Depot, also arrested three speed boats, two large wooden boats with pumping machines and long hoses with valves, as well as drums containing about 10,000 litres of locally refined product suspected to be AGO, also known as diesel.

The six suspects, who allegedly specialises in oil theft in the coastal area, are Jonathan Ofawinor, Akpos Oba, Hausa Kamienyefa, Arukpei Yerin, Samson Matthew and Ebi Emiyekpemi (the woman).

They are detained at the IGP Task Force Base in Warri.

Parading the suspects, the Unit Commander IGP Special Task Force, Mohammed El-Yakubu, a Superintendent (SP), warned those perpetuating oil theft and pipeline sabotage within the Warri waterways to keep off.

He stressed that his men are committed to zero tolerance for pipeline vandalism and crude oil theft.

“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 discounted by the DPR officials,” El-Yakubu said.

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