Operatives of the anti-vandal squad of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps in Akwa Ibom State have busted an illegal fuel dump site in the Eket Local Government Area of the state, arresting two suspected oil thieves.
They also seized 130 drums loaded with illegally refined/acquired diesel, five pumping machines, three generator sets, a brown Ford Ecoline van with Registration No. AWK 583 SZ, and 27 jerry cans, in the operation led by CSC Edem Sunday in the early hours of Tuesday, 11 October 2022.
The command, in a statement on Friday by its Public Relations Officer, DSC Ekerette Friday, listed other seized items, including seven hoses of different lengths and 74 bags of DPK (kerosene) stored in 50-litre cellophane bags, amounting to about 3,700 litres.
He said that the suspects were using the illegal site to store Automative Gas Oil (Diesel) and Dual Purpose Kerosene for distribution to various parts of the state, adding that the building used for the illegal activity is a 10-room apartment located in a residential area in Ikot Udoma.
The statement reads in part, “The newly re-organised Anti-vandal squad led by CSC Edem Sunday, acting on intelligence, stormed the apartment used for the illicit act in Ikot Udoma in Eket LGA in the early hours of Tuesday, 11th October 2022.
“Two suspects were arrested and have volunteered useful statements to help with investigations. The suspects are Francis Udoh Warri, ‘M’, 55years and Uduak Sunday Johnson, ‘M’, 42 years. Other suspects within the building fled on sighting NSCDC officials.
“The building used for the illegal activity is a 10-room apartment located in a residential area in Ikot Udoma. The building was used to conceal the illegal activity going on in the backyard and the several rooms and didn’t appear as a fuel dump site where large-scale bunkering activity took place.”
Speaking to newsmen during the parade of the suspects and exhibits, the State Commandant, Suleiman Mafara, reiterated the commitment of the Commandant General of NSCDC, Dr. A.A. Audi, to end the menace of oil theft, illegal bunkering/refining and adulteration in the country.
He said that the Federal Government was fighting the war from all fronts, and very soon, there would be no hiding place for these criminals.
He said, “The negative implications of these crimes are numerous. First, it is an act of economic sabotage that robs the country of huge revenue. It also degrades our environment, negatively impacting agriculture and fishing. Lastly, it is a disaster waiting to happen.”
While stating that the suspects would soon be charged in court, the state commandant of NSCDC appealed to the Akwa Ibom people to always avail the corps with credible intelligence, pointing out that crime did not take place in a vacuum.
He assured that any information volunteered to the corps will be treated with utmost confidentiality, while advising youths to engage in productive businesses.
Graphic Designer/ Content Writer