By Ihechi Chigemeri-uwom
Umuahia – The Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in Abia, Mr Nnamdi Nwannukwu, said the command impounded two trucks allegedly laden with large quantities of crude oil.
Nwannukwu stated this in a statement signed by the command’s spokesman, DSC Egwu Agu, and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Umuahia on Sunday.
He stated that the trucks were parked on top of the Imo River Bridge in Ukwa West Local Government Area of the state, when they were impounded on Tuesday, February 11.
He further stated that the two trucks, which included a Mack model and a container truck with an inbuilt tank, had no registration numbers.
Nwannukwu stated that the trucks had long hoses connected to oil pipelines in the area through which oil was being siphoned.
He stated that the occupants of the Mack truck abandoned the vehicle and escaped “on sighting the operatives of NSCDC on patrol.”
According to him, the truck was loaded with about 6,000 litres of petroleum products, “suspected to be crude oil.”
The commandant also stated that 42-year-old Philip Iroha was arrested allegedly in the second truck, laden with 35,000 litres of suspected crude oil in its inbuilt tank.
“From the preliminary investigation, the suspect has no licence to deal in petroleum products,” he stated.
He further stated that the trucks had no haulage permit, allowing them to be used to convey petroleum products, adding that the products had no purchase receipts or waybills.
Nwannukwu stated that the matter would be charged to court at the end of the ongoing investigation.
He warned Abia indigenes to desist from the act of vandalism and engage in legitimate means of livelihood, describing oil bunkering as criminal and economic sabotage.
“The act of vandalism and dealing in illegal petroleum products can lead to fire, which comes with disastrous consequences, including the destruction of lives and property,” he stated.
In another development, the command stated that it had sealed the headquarters of Ark and Allied Security Service, a private guard outfit at No. 62 Pound Road, Aba, for contravening the establishing Act.
The commandant advised establishments that engage the services of private guards to obtain the list of registered outfits from the command and desist from patronising quacks.