Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria By Tunde Oso The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN has arrested four trucks laden with stolen Automotive Gas Oil, AGO.
The suspects, (names withheld) with vehicle registration numbers: NSR 357 G, KT650ZZ, GXH27XA and XD242HAG respectively were arrested at the Delta State Polytechnic Community of Uzoro at the wee hours of yesterday on their way to Asaba with the stolen products.
Eshanekpe Israel (a.k.a Akpodoro), Head of Sector ‘C’ Surveillance and Enforcement Team of IPMAN, said the stolen products were loaded from Port Harcourt for onward delivery to Asaba, where their accomplices were waiting to receive the product, but were intercepted by the IPMAN surveillance team, who were working in collaboration with men of the Nigerian Army drawn from 181 battalion, Agbarah.
READ ALSO2021 budget contains 316 duplicated projects worth N39.5bn — BudgIT Akpodoro, the team leader, noted that the arrest was one in a series of several actions taken to curb the menace of crimes and criminalities in the downstream sector of the oil industry in Delta State.
The IPMAN chief lamented that the state has hitherto been a safe haven for petroleum products thieves, adulterators, illegal bunkerers, pipeline vandals and host of other criminal activities that tends to hamper the economic wellbeing of the nation.
The IPMAN team, Akpodoro also noted, has been facing daunting challenges in the hands of hoodlums in the state and its environs, adding that, the perpetrators of crimes in the oil and gas industry in the state often attack his men at the point of duties and this he said had happened severally.
“A fortnight ago, my men were attacked along Sapele Road at Otomhewhor junction by hoodlums from Edo State owing to the arrest of oil thieves who specialise in vandalising pipelines in that neighbourhood and distribute same into the Nigerian petroleum market.
“My men as usual, were injured by the marauding rascals who came with dangerous weapons to chase the Surveillance Team away. However, on sighting the soldiers, the economic saboteurs fled the scene and at the end we were able to arrest and detain a driver with his lorry loaded with stolen AGO. Such are the challenges we face in the course of protecting our national treasure.” Akpodoro stated, vowing to ensure that there is no hidden place for criminal elements in the oil-rich state.
All the suspects and the trucks have been handed over to the Sector 1, of the Operation Delta Safe, OPDS at Effurun Barracks for further investigations into their activities and possibly charge them to court appropriately.
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