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NSCDC arrests nine suspected oil thieves in Rivers

The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) says it has arrested nine suspected oil thieves at an ”illegal refinery” in a forest boundary between Rivers and Abia states.

In a statement on Monday, Babawale Afolabi, NSCDC spokesperson, said the site was uncovered by the commandant-general’s special intelligence squad (CGsSIS).

Afolabi said the success of the operation was due to intelligence surveillance.

“We apprehended nine suspects caught in the act of illegally refining stolen crude extracted from a vandalized oil well head,” the statement reads.

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“We also discovered an ongoing construction of a local refinery with the capacity to produce 60,000 litres of crude at once.

“Visibly at the massive illegal bunkering, we noticed large hoses and galvanized metal pipes laid to transfer stolen crude across the processing channels.

“The suspects arrested are; Oghene Wede (M) 32 years, Moses James (M) 25 years, Chidi Nwosu (M) 53 years, Samuel John (M) 24 years.

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“Others are Emmanuel Paul (M) 20 years, Oghenevo Nwebi (M) 43 years, Martina Whinnypeter (F) 38 years, Nwabuchi Nwogu (M) 41 years and David Okere (M) 20 years.

“Exhibits recovered are: RWD 5.0 GFE-6500 power generating set, two yellow colour pumping machines, metal and plastic buckets, cutlasses, saw, mats, welding machine, galvanized metal pipes, different heavy-duty hoses, automotive gas oil (AGO) illegally processed in cooking ovens.”

The corps’ spokesperson said the suspects will be charged to court after conclusion of investigation.

On May 19, the NSCDC said it destroyed an illegal refinery with more than 100,000 litres of crude oil in Adobi settlement, Etche LGA, Rivers state.

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