The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps has arrested a bus driver allegedly transporting vandalised crude oil pipelines said to belong to Nigeria Agip Oil Company in Rivers State.
The NSCDC Acting Commandant in Rivers State, DC Claire Okpo, made this known in a statement in Port Harcourt.
The statement, on Thursday, was signed by the command’s spokesman, DSC Olufemi Ayodele.
Okpo said that the male suspect was arrested on Mbiama stretch of the East-West Road in Ahoada Local Government Area.
He said that the arrest was made by NSCDC’s anti-vandal border patrol team.
He said: “The suspect was arrested while conveying already vandalised oil pipelines in a Toyota Bus with registration number: Anambra NSH 252 YY.
“Preliminary investigation showed that the suspect negotiated for about N320,000 for the pipelines but paid N250,000.
“The suspect whose accomplice is still at large would be charged with unlawful tampering with Nigeria Agip Oil Company, conspiracy and sabotage of critical national assets.”
In another development, Okpo said that the command’s anti-vandal marine team seized a wooden boat laden with unspecified amount of illegally-refined diesel.
The acting commandant said that the NSCDC made the seizure during a routine patrol of Bakana Waterway.
She said that the sailors, on sighting an advancing NSCDC patrol boat, jumped into the river, abandoning their diesel-laden 8HP engine-powered boat.
Okpo confirmed that the Nigerian Navy handed over to the command nine suspected oil thieves it recently arrested.
She said: “The nine suspects, together with two wooden boats and two fibre boats, were handed over to us by the Nigeria Navy Ship Pathfinder in the state.
“The suspects and items were handed over to us as part of inter-agency collaborations and synergy.
“The suspects will be charged to court while application for forfeiture of the items will be made.”