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NSCDC foils sale of adulterated diesel to motorists in Rivers

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No fewer than 14 suspected illegal oil refiners have been arrested in Port Harcourt, Rivers, by the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).

The all-male suspects were arrested for allegedly attempting to sell adulterated diesel to motorists and other users when they were intercepted by NSCDC operatives on surveillance.

NSCDC Public Relations Officer in Rivers, DSC Olufemi Ayodele, spoke on Tuesday, while parading the suspects and seized items before newsmen in Port Harcourt.

He said that items recovered from the suspects were four tanker trucks, two wooden boats and four vehicles all loaded with varying quantities of adulterated diesel.

“The 14 suspects were arrested for illegal dealings and transportation of petroleum products without haulage licences.

“The first suspect was arrested at Ada George in Obio/Akpor with 18,000 litres capacity white man diesel truck with registration number: Rivers MHA 435 XZ.

“But a part of the content inside the truck was discharged before our operatives apprehended the suspect.

Ayodele said the second suspect was detained at Abua Junction in Ahoada East while conveying 45,000 litres of suspected illegally refined diesel with his truck NGL 141 XA.

“On interrogation, the suspect confessed that he loaded the truck at a dump in Ekporoho community in Ahoada East in the state.

“Also, operatives arrested a Kaduna registered truck MKA 701 ZF conveying 40,000 litres of suspected illegally refined diesel along Airport Road.

“Four other suspects were arrested along with their truck with registration number Ebonyi ZLL A3 XY while moving products used for the construction of illegal refineries,” he added.

The NSCDC spokesman further said that the other three suspects were apprehended for transporting four drums of fake diesel concealed inside cellophane bags, equivalent to 800 litres.

According to him, the suspected illegal oil refiners conveyed the petroleum product in four vehicles, including, a light grey coloured Toyota Camry with Imo registration number: AG 342 KGE.

Others are a Blue coloured Toyota Camry with registration number Delta LEH 64 EX; a white Toyota Camry Lagos LSD 58 BJ and a deep grey Toyota Camry, Rivers AM 25 BNY.

“The four vehicles were all impounded at Airport Road at Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers.

“In a separate operation, operatives arrested four suspects onboard two wooden boats fully loaded with suspected illegally refined diesel on Bakana River and Abonema Wharf waterways.

“The arrests were part of NSCDC’s Rivers state command’s renewed vigour to eradicate the menace of vandalism of oil pipelines and other illegal dealings in petroleum products,” he said.

Ayodele said the suspects would be charged to court under the Miscellaneous Offences Act, Law of the Federation 2004.

He said the NSCDC Commandant in Rivers, Mr Abu Tambuwal, had zero tolerance for acts of sabotage of oil and gas installations and illegal dealings in petroleum products.

“Economic saboteurs are hereby warned to engage themselves in legal ventures or they risk facing the full wrath of the law,” he warned.

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