Akpan Umoh, Uyo
The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Akwa Ibom State Command, has raided an illegal fuel dumpsite in Eket Local Government Area where Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) also known as diesel and dual-purpose kerosene were stored in large quantities for distribution to many parts of the state.
The Command’s Public Relations Officer, Mr Friday Ekerete, in a statement on Thursday, said the operatives of the Anti-Vandal Squad of NSCDC led by CSC Edem Sunday, acting on intelligence, stormed the apartment used for the illicit storage in Ikot Udoma in Eket LGA in the early hours of Tuesday, 11th October 2022.
Ekerete stated that two suspects, Francis Udoh Warri, 55 years, and Uduak Sunday Johnson, 42 years were arrested while other suspects fled after sighting officials of NSCDC. He added that those arrested have volunteered useful statements that would aid further investigations.
The command’s spokesman said items recovered during the operation are 130 drums loaded with illegally refined/acquired AGO (diesel), five pumping machines, three generator sets, and a brown Ford Ecoline van with Number Plate AWK 583 SZ.
He added that others are 27 Jerry cans, and seven hoses of different lengths, 74 bags of DPK (kerosene) stored in 50 litres of cellophane bags amounting to about 3,700 litres.
The statement read in part: “The building used for the illegal activity is a 10-room apartment located in a residential area in Ikot Udoma. The building was used to conceal the illegal activity going on in the backyard and the several rooms and didn’t appear as a fuel dump site where large-scale bunkering activity took place.
“The location was discovered following sustained intelligence mounted on the area for weeks following suspicion that such activity takes place there.
“Exhibits recovered from the suspects and the crime scene include: 130 drums loaded with illegally refined/acquired AGO (Diesel), 5 pumping machines, 3 generator sets, a brown Ford Ecoline van with Registration No. AWK 583 SZ, 27 Jerry cans, and 7 hoses of different lengths.
“Also recovered are 74 bags of DPK (kerosene) stored in 50litres cellophane bags amounting to about 3,700 litres,” it added.
The State Commandant, Mr Suleiman Mafara, however, has vowed to step up the fight against oil theft, illegal bunkering/refining, and adulteration in line with the directive of the Commandant General of NSCDC, Dr AA Audi.
He further appealed to the residents of the state to cooperate with NSCDC by releasing credible information to help fight against oil thefts and vandals for the betterment of the nation.