Oil theft: IGP’s special squad on illegal bunkering parades suspects

Olubunmi Martins

The Inspector-General of Police Special Task Force on Petroleum/Illegal Bunkering (IGP-STFPIB) has impounded 41 petroleum products tankers , 13 other vehicles; arrested 42 suspects  with 6 cases pending in various Federal High Court branches across the federation.

This was contained in a statement released by   Force Acting, spokesperson,Olumuyiwa Adejobi  obtained by EnergyDay.

The statement disclosed that some of the suspects who were paraded in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State earlier in the week, have been charged to court with others still under investigations . He added that four (4) convictions have been secured in court; pending and final forfeiture of fourteen (14) tankers and four (4) cars to the government.

He further added that the Police authorities have recovered a total of 1,057,000 litres of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO), 30,000 litres of Low Pour Fuel Oil (LPFO), 75,000 litres of Crude oil, and 9,900 litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS)  between 2021 and 2022.

Adejobi  however noted that the measures are part of the IGP’s commitment IGP to maintain a sustained fight against illegal bunkering, pipeline vandalism, economic saboteurs, and other criminal elements in the country.

He said, “The Inspector-General of Police has reiterated the commitment of the Nigeria Police Force to maintain a sustained fight against illegal bunkering, pipeline vandalism, economic saboteurs, and other criminal elements in the country.”

“These successes were achieved in Rivers State and some other parts of the country, sequel to the unrelenting pragmatic and sustained fight against collectively by the Federal Government, and the Inspector-General of Police. The collective effort has assisted greatly in the fight against bunker traders and purveyors of adulterated petroleum products within the country.”

Adejobi further revealed names of suspects that were arrested and paraded to include Rabiu Halidu (31)  from Katsina State,  Michael Okoro (30) from Rivers State, Arinze Eze(50) from Enugu State, Lukman Musa(22) from Kogi State, Sefiu Ibrahim(18) from Kano State, and Nura Isiaku(25) from Kaduna State.

He said, “ The trio of Lukman, Sefiu, and Nura hid drums of crude oil in a truck stacked with sacks of fertilizer. They however ran out of luck upon thorough stop and search by an operational team of the IGP-STFPIB.

DCP Usman Kanfani, Commander IGP-STFPIB, on his part disclosed that the forfeited products which were tested and confirmed by the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPR), and approved private laboratories; and forfeited vehicles, are in the custody of the Nigerian Pipelines and Storage Company (NPSC) Ltd., while motions for the forfeiture of the rest are still pending in different Courts.

The IGP commended the efforts of the Commander IGP-STFPIB and his team for their diligence even as he called for frequent operational patrols in a bid to curb the incessant activities of illegal bunker traders and economic saboteurs.

He further charged the officers and men of the Force to be committed, patriotic, and focussed on their statutory duties of preventing crimes, and protection of lives and property in line with extant laws of the land.

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