26 December 2015, Port Harcourt – At least, seven persons have been arrested and detained by the Rivers State Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps for their alleged involvement in oil theft and bunkering.
The NSCDC command in the state said it also destroyed over nine oil bunkering sites where stolen crude oil was illegally refined in the course of the operation.
This is coming as the corps said it had intensified efforts towards stamping out oil theft and bunkering in the Niger Delta and Nigeria in general.
The Anti-vandal Unit of the outfit led by Mr. Stephen Morgan stormed had on Monday, stormed Lukuri creek in Okrika Local Government Area of Rivers State and destroyed illegal bunkering sites.
Operatives attached to the unit invaded the Okrika with about three speed boats and seized some equipment used for the illegal bunkering in the process.
Among equipment seized was a large local boat loaded with crude oil suspected to have been stolen and moving to an illegal refining site.
State Commander of NSCDC, Mrs. Helen Amachree, said shortly after the operation that the force was working based on intelligence report.
She said since the beginning of 2015, NSCDC had been in the creeks, fishing out illegal refineries and stressed that its efforts had been a huge success.
Also, the leader of the team, Morgan, said the command had improved in its fight against oil theft, adding the corps has carried out series of investigations that revealed the tricks adopted by criminals during the festive period.
“The arrests made and all the illegal bunkering sites destroyed were discovered based on our investigations and intelligence gathering. The command has improved in the fight against oil theft. The only thing we demand is total compliance of communities and gradually, we will win the war.
“Before we visited here today, we have carried out series of investigations that revealed all the tricks adopted by these criminals perpetrating this act in this period. So far today, we have destroyed about nine illegal refineries at the creek in Okrika area and we have also arrested seven suspects,” Morgan added.
He noted the suspects, who were arrested would be handed over to the command for investigation and prosecution.