The Delta State Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps has arrested a driver, Irekpita Ezekiel, for allegedly concealing Automotive Gas Oil popularly called diesel in nylon bags.
He was arrested on July 21, 2023, at the East-West Road, Patani when operatives intercepted his white Ford van with number plate KRD786YE.
The command’s Public Relations Officer, Anthony Uchenna, disclosed this in a statement made available to journalists on Thursday in Asaba, the state capital.
The statement read, “On July 21, 2023, the anti-vandal team on routine patrol at East-West Road, Patani Delta State, intercepted a white Ford van with number plate KRD786YE and the driver, Irekpita Ezekiel.
“The driver said that he was carrying waybills of red oil from Water Land, Izuru Park, Port Harcourt, Rivers State to Lagos State.
“When we searched the jerry cans, we discovered another level of concealment and smuggling of AGO in the name of red oil.
“The syndicate bagged AGO in nylon bags inside the jerry cans, cut a plastic bottle in half and forced it into each of the jerry cans and poured red oil on the plastic bottle and covered it to beat security.
“The driver was arrested and moved to our base in Patani, Delta State. There were 45 jerry cans each of 25 litres capacity.”
Uchenna said with the help of the Lagos State Command of the NSCDC and the logistics company who are owners of the vehicle, two of the receivers were arrested in Lagos on July 22, 2023, and were transferred to the Delta State command on July 23.
He said the command had invited the Nigeria Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority for sample taking and analysis of the AGO while the investigation continued.
In another development, the command said a truck with number plate DAC 657 ZY was intercepted while conveying concealed bitumen in about 400 sacks.
According to the statement, the truck was abandoned in Sapele on July 30, 2023, while the occupants escaped on sighting the NSCDC Commandant Patrol team on duty.
The statement added, “Also, on August 1, 2023, the NSCDC received four suspects arrested on July 23, 2023, by a joint patrol team led by the Nigerian Navy.
“The suspects had about 61 stolen pipes belonging to Sterling Oil Exploration and Energy Producing Company Limited along Anieze Junction, Obodo Oyibo in the Ndokwa East Local Government Area of Delta State.”