The Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Special Task Force on Pipeline Vandalization has arrested nine suspected oil thieves in Warri, Delta state.

The special task force, which is attached to the Pipelines and Product Marketing Company (PPMC), a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), at the Warri Depot, made the arrest during a raid on two notorious locations within its area of coverage.

Commander of the Special Task Force, Anti- Pipeline Vandalization on Petroleum and Illegal Bunkering, Police Superintendent (SP) Mohammed EL-Yakubu, told newsmen during the weekend that the locations comprise Oteghele and Ugbodede Communities both in Warri South Local Government Area.

He said the locations have been known to harbour large expanse of illegal oil bunkering activities, especially, the locally refined AGO otherwise known as diesel.

EL-Yakubu also said that over 50 illegal refineries were destroyed and an estimated fifteen thousand (15,000) litres of refined diesel about to be loaded into wooden boats in sacks to be delivered to potential buyers were impounded at both locations.

He said the arrest was made possible based on the intelligence gathering efforts of his men and officers.

He revealed that the Commander decided to invade the locations on Thursday, April 25, 2019, after it had been clearly established that it was one of the busiest days in both camps.

He disclosed that while the Ugbodede community camp abhors 13 illegal refineries, the Oteghele community end controls the largest with about 37 refineries operating at full capacity in the area.

He said that the suspects were still been detained for further interrogations, adding that they would soon be charged to court for prosecution after investigation had been concluded, while the seized product would be handed over to the appropriate agency.

“It may interest you to know that this breakthrough was made possible through the cooperation of some good citizens who provided the information that led to the arrests.

“I want to sincerely thank these people and urged the members of the public, particularly those residents in the places where these criminals’ acts were being perpetrated to feel free to come and give us useful information that could lead to more arrest of these criminals,” Yakubu said.

He warned those behind this dastardly act to begin to have a change of mind about the illegal oil business as the task force was more than ever determined to come after them.

“Culprits should desist from these act because besides the renewed efforts of my men and officers to rid the area of the criminal act, the business itself is very dangerous as the environment they are exposed in these camps on daily basis is injurious to their health,” EL-Yakubu said.

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