IGP orders special task force on petroleum, illegal bunkering to intensify fight against oil theft

Oredola Adeola

The Nigerian Police tactical and intelligence commanders have been ordered to deploy assets towards tackling oil bunkerers and pipeline vandals sabotaging the country’s economic growth.

Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba gave this order in a statement he issued on Thursday on the backdrop of appointment of ACP Lot Lantoh Garba, new Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of the IGP Special Task Force on Petroleum and Illegal Bunkering (IGP-STFPIB).

The statement said, “IGP has ordered tactical and intelligence commanders of the Force to deploy assets towards tackling perpetrators of economic crimes aimed at sabotaging and weakening the revenue-generating apparatus of the country. He stressed that the actions of these economic saboteurs have become worrisome due to the huge losses being recorded as a result of their criminal activities”

“The newly appointed Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of the IGP Special Task Force on Petroleum and Illegal Bunkering (IGP-STFPIB), ACP Lot Lantoh Garba, has been charged with improving the fight against economic crimes.

“ACP Lot, is described as a gallant and courageous officer, and have served in various operational command positions including the role of Commanding Officer, Special Protection Unit (SPU) Bases 5 – Benin, 7 – Abuja, and 2 – Lagos. He was equally a one-time Commander, Police Mobile Force (PMF) 23 Obalende, Lagos,” the statement said.

The IGP further ordered for the immediate restructuring of the task force, and continuous decimation of the operations of criminal elements responsible for the theft of crude oil and other petroleum products, as well as illegal bunkering in the country.

The statement confirmed the arrest of a 40-feet Container Truck conveying a large quantity of crude products suspected to be illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) stuffed in sacks. The IGP also warned all economic saboteurs to cease their unwholesome activities, adding that their refusal would be consequential.

Recently, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC , Mele Kyari disclosed that the crime of crude oil theft is largely carried out by highly placed Nigerian citizens who are sometimes described as ‘elites’