Operatives of the Inspector-General of Police Special Task Force on Petroleum and Illegal Bunkering (IGP-STFPIB) have intercepted a 40-feet container truck conveying a large quantity of crude products suspected to be illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) stuffed in sacks in PortHacourt, Rivers state.
This is as the IGP Usman Baba, has ordered tactical and intelligence Commanders of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) to deploy assets towards tackling perpetrators of economic crimes aimed at sabotaging and weakening the revenue-generating apparatus of the country.
Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, inna press statement, Thursday in Abuja, said: “He stressed that the actions of these economic saboteurs have become worrisome due to the huge losses being recorded as a result of their criminal activities.
“The IGP issued the directives while charging the newly appointed Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) in charge of the IGP-STFPIB, ACP Lot Lantoh Garba, to improve on the fight against economic crimes.
“ACP Lot, a gallant and courageous officer, has served in various operational command positions including as Commanding Officer, Special Protection Unit (SPU) Bases 5, Benin, 7 Abuja, and 2 Lagos. He was equally a one-time Commander, Police Mobile Force (PMF) 23 Obalende, Lagos.”
The Spokesperson said, “Upon assumption of office, ACP Lot set the ball rolling which has led to immediate restructuring of the task force, and continuous decimation of the operations of criminal elements responsible for the theft of crude oil and other petroleum products, as well as illegal bunkering in the country. Prominent amongst these is the breakthrough in Port-Harcourt, Rivers state, where operatives on surveillance patrol intercepted a 40-feet Container Truck conveying a large quantity of crude products suspected to be illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) stuffed in sacks.
“The truck with Registration Number JRV 322 XV was driven by one Chukwudi Okafor aged 54 year-old, who has been arrested in connection with the offence. Preliminary investigations have shown that the driver is a member of a high-powered syndicate responsible for illegal bunkering in the area and beyond, and the arrest of the driver has definitely provided a lead to the arrest of other members of the syndicate.
“The recovered truck with the accompanying product is currently in police custody at the Refinery Life Camp Division, Eleme, pending the conclusion of investigations.”
Adejobi further stated that, “The IGP, therefore, warns police operatives attached to the Task Force to be focused, committed, and patriotic. He charged them to discharge their duties devoid of corruption, favouritism, and compromise.
“The IGP further warns all economic saboteurs to cease their unwholesome activities henceforth else they would be made to face the full wrath of the law. The Force is deepening synergy with other agencies in internal security, to curtail the trend of these crimes and other forms of crimes and social vices in the country.”