The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has arrested 28 suspects for vandalising rail track plates, oil wellhead and partaking in illegal deals on petroleum products in Rivers State.
Parading the suspects in Port Harcourt, the state Commandant, NSCDC, Muktar Lawal, said it was disheartening that despite the efforts of the Federal Government to revive the rail system, some miscreants were working to thwart the progress.
But he said the state command in partnership with the NSCDC Railway had evolved measures to stamp out vandalism along the rail tracks in Rivers.
He said 160 vehicles impounded by the command following their involvement in illegal activities had so far been forfeited to the Federal Government.
He said: “Suspected vandalised rail track slippers were recovered along Komkom rail line in Oyigbo Local Government Area”.
Muktar said the strong synergy between the NSCDC and the Nigeria Army led to the arrest of another suspect involved in the theft of an oil wellhead belonging to the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) at Chokocho community in Etche Local Government Area.
He said the army further arrested two suspects and handed them over to his command for illegal dealings on petroleum products, adding that the suspects were nabbed at Emoha, Omoku community.
The commandant, who explained that the suspects had been arraigned, named items recovered from him as two saw blades, a measuring tape and a cylinder fame torch.
He said the command following credible intelligence intercepted two trucks conveying 20 suspected stolen petroleum pipes along the East-West Road and arrested four suspects.
He said 10 suspected oil thieves were also arrested with suspected adulterated diesel loaded in a truck at Ozuboko in Port Harcourt City.
He said: “In February, the anti-vandal team of the command arrested one suspect for willfully tampering and removing metals used in construction of bridges at Ogba/Egbema Ndoni LGA, Rivers State. Recovered from the suspect is a long lorry truck with registration number NSR462ZB used for conveying the exhibits.
“The command arrested four suspects alleged for illegal dealings on petroleum products at Rumuokoro axis in Obio-Akpo LGA of the state. The products were contained in a DAF truck with registration number KMC165VT.
“The anti-vandal patrol team of the command arrested a truck with registration number NCA927XA loaded with unspecified litres of suspected stolen crude oil along Ebocha Road in Onelga area of the state.
“The arrested suspects are currently undergoing investigations and would be charged to court for possible prosecution”.
Muktar also warned the public against patronising adulterated kerosene in the state to avert disasters adding that suspected activities of vandals capable of breaching the peace should be reported to the command.