69 oil thieves, seven boats, and illegal dealers in petroleum products were arrested by the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Akwa Ibom State Command, between January and April 2022.
This was disclosed by Abidemi Majekodunmi, the State Commandant, on Thursday during the Corps’ Quarterly media briefing in Uyo. He said that officials of the NSCDC arrested a total number of 69 persons suspected to be oil thieves and pipeline vandals allegedly involved in acts of economic sabotage in Akwa Ibom State between January and April 2022.
The NSCDC boss described the activities of the arrested criminals as acts of “economic profiteering and sabotage” against the state while noting that the Corps has the mandate to protect public infrastructure.
“In the first quarter of the year, we placed significant emphasis on the protection of critical national assets and infrastructure.
“Here in Akwa Ibom, we do know that the network of pipelines is extensive and definitely we have criminals and non-state actors tampering with the pipelines for economic profiteering and sabotage.
“What we have done is to ensure that we deploy intelligence, capital, and assets to make sure that we are surveillance serve as a deterrent to these non-state actors, who are always eager to steal petroleum products,” he said.
Majekodunmi, while revealing that the criminals have been charged to court for prosecution, explained that the Command also seized about seven boats during the operations while intercepting the criminals.
He said, “When we get quality intelligence, we plan and execute operations to make arrests. We also have, currently, about seven boats. In that particular case, we have 69 suspects, as illegal dealers in petroleum products.
“They have been charged to court and of course, we have made investigations and done credible profiling, so those cases are currently in Court, for adjudication.”
He advised communities that are hosts to public facilities to help watch over them, promising that his men will keep their commitment to the protection of public assets and promotion of peace within the state.