Port Harcourt, March 8, 2022 (NAN) The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) said it seized eight trucks laden with suspected adulterated petrol and diesel in Rivers in a week.
The trucks were impounded between March 1, and March 7, while attempting to distribute the petroleum products to unsuspecting members of the public as fuel scarcity hit hard in the state.
The NSCDC Zonal Commandant, Zone L, Mr James Bassey, said this while parading four suspects and items recovered before newsmen in Port Harcourt on Tuesday.
“The eight trucks with an unspecified quantity of petroleum products were arrested by our eagle eye operatives at strategic locations in the state.
“Our personnel also seized three cars used for illicit petroleum activities in the state.
“No fewer than 10 suspects involved in various offences were arrested during the anti-illegal oil bunkering operations,” he said.
Bassey, an Assistant Commandant-General, said of the 10 suspects arrested, six were granted administrative bail while investigation on the allegations continued.
The zonal commandant later presented three operational vehicles to the command on behalf of the NSCDC Commandant-General, Dr Ahmed Audi.
He praised the state command for the many milestone successes recorded in the last one month since the change of guards at the state command.
“The vehicles will aid the operations of the state command in carrying out its mandate of eliminating illegal bunkering of petroleum products in the state.
“Consequently, we warn criminals in Akwa Ibom, Cross River and Rivers to desist from sabotaging the nation’s economy through illegal bunkering of petroleum products.
“They (illegal bunkerers) should leave the states immediately as we have intensified our operations with focus to arrest and prosecute offenders in court,” he added.
On his part, Mr Abu Tambuwal, the NSCDC Commandant in Rivers said the command made several arrests and seizures since the launch of its anti-illegal bunkering operation in February.
According to him, the successes were in support of the Rivers Government’s campaign against illegal artisanal refineries partly responsible for the soot pollution in the state.
“To this end, we destroyed several illegal refineries and sites, impounded several tanker trucks, vehicles, wooden boats, drums as well as made several arrests.
“We are in synergy with other security agencies as well as carry out joint operations in both land and in the waterways to rid the state of the menace.
“We will not rest on our oars until all identified bunkering sites are shut down and their operators prosecuted in court,” he assured.