Operatives of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) have arrested two suspects who specialised in illegal oil bunkering.
The suspects and other members of their gang had engaged the NSCDC operatives in a gun battle at an illegal oil refining site before the suspects were apprehended.
A statement by the Public Relations Officer of the state NSCDC, Mr. Akin Oguntuase, said the arrest of the oil bunkering gang leaders was in line with the security outfit’s determination to rid the state of illicit deals in the petroleum business.
Oguntuase said the arrested suspects were also involved in pipeline vandalism.
He said, “Following the pre-New Year charge by the NSCDC boss, ACG Helen Amakiri, to the operatives of the NSCDC in Rivers State to redouble their effort at ensuring that Rivers State is rid of all forms of illegal dealings in petroleum business.
“In the early hours of Saturday, 31 December 2016, at 0530 hrs, two notorious illegal bunkerers identified as Menele Baridoma and Monday Baridoma were arrested by men of the NSCDC.
“The suspects, who had been placed on surveillance in connection to the bombing of Shell trunk line at B-Dere on 8 November, 2016 were arrested after a gun battle with the Anti-Vandal team of the NSCDC.”
He disclosed that the suspects had since confessed to the crime and had been helping the NSCDC in its investigations.
Ogutuase warned those involved in illegal bunkering to stay away from the nation’s facilities or be ready to face the wrath of the law whenever they were apprehended.
In her remark, the state commandant said she would not succumb to any pressure from anybody to release the suspects.
“The suspects confessed to have been floating illegal refineries at Ogo- bolo, K-Dere and B-Dere, all in Rivers state. The NSCDC boss in the state has vowed that she will not bow to any pressure from some quarters to release the suspects no matter what,” the statement added.