The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps has arrested eight tanker drivers for allegedly lifting and transporting suspected illegally refined diesel out of Rivers.
The NSCDC Commandant in Rivers, Abu Tambuwal, said this in a statement issued by the command’s spokesman, DSC Olufemi Ayodele on Friday in Port Harcourt.
Tambuwal said the suspects used forged documents to distribute adulterated petroleum products to motorists across the country before they were apprehended.
“The trucks were intercepted while on transit out of Rivers with petroleum products suspected to be illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil.
“The suspects and their trucks were impounded along Mbiama, a border town between Bayelsa and Delta states.
“Preliminary investigation reveals the suspects presented fake documents that enabled them to beat several security checkpoints along the road.
“They succeeded until they were apprehended by the Anti-vandal Squad of NSCDC Rivers Command,” he said.
Tambuwal said the arrests and seizures were made possible following a tip-off that led to the trailing of the suspects and trucks for over three weeks.
He alleged the suspects used an already executed Court Auction Order to move trucks loaded with illegally refined petroleum products.
“We will not relent in our commitment to rid the State of all acts of illegal dealings in petroleum products, including oil theft and illegal oil bunkering.
“Operatives have been deployed across all 23 Local Government Areas of the state, and so, it will no longer be business as usual,” he said.
In a related development, Tambuwal said the command had taken delivery of two gunboats donated by the Rivers Government to aid its fight against artisanal oil refining in the state.
He thanked NSCDC Commandant-General, Dr. Ahmed Abubakar for also acquiring a new ambulance to strengthen capacity of the command to respond to emergencies.
“The ambulance would be stationed at Port Harcourt International Airport for effective use during emergencies,” the commandant said.