23 June 2013, Yenagoa, BAYELSA – The Joint Task Force in the Niger Delta codenamed Operation Pulo Shield, Sunday, said its operatives have arrested eight persons in connection with the recent fire outbreak on an SPDC pipeline in Bodo West of Gokana local government area, Rivers State.
Also, five suspected crude oil thieves were nabbed in two separate raids in the creek of the delta.
Spokesman of the Task Force, Lt. Col Onyema Nwachukwu in a statement in Yenagoa said the arrest of the eight suspects was effected by troops of 146 Battalion of Sector 2 of the JTF.
Nwachukwu said the troops who sighted the fire at about 1.30 am on Wednesday mobilized to the scene where they found the suspects in two tug boats.
He said the suspects upon interrogation, claimed to be employees of Steve integrated Technical Service and Sege Marine hired by Shell Petroleum Development Company to fix broken pipelines in Bodo.
The suspects, he said, are currently in Sector 2 Headquarters for preliminary investigations adding that they will be handed over to an appropriate prosecuting agency if found culpable at the end of the investigations.
Also, troops deployed at Sanbarth have arrested two suspects who specialized in vandalising oil pipelines along Kalamabo and Opukula communities in Akuku Toru council area of Rivers State.
*Samuel Oyadongha, Vanguard