Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Operatives has said that its operatives have arrested 24 Nigerians involved in illegal oil bunkering in Rivers State. The Commission said this in a statement. According the EFCC’s statement, the suspects are Biokpor Kparango, Peace Udofia, Williams Niyabe, Sufiyanu A. Sale, Ibinabo Sila, Precious Christopher, God is Great Anna, Api Eli, Sabath Orubo, Life Sunday, Paul West and Obi Omini. Others are Lucky Akaluogbo, Victor Chibuzor, Omole Oluwa Muyiwa, Darlington Michael, Uche Nwankwo Onyinyechi Anayo, Emem Udofot, Mary Isaiah, Emabong Udoh, Confidence Sotonye, Ukoren Friday and Kingsley Edem.”
The statement said that the suspects were arrested at Abonima wharf area in Rivers State by the agency’s port Harcourt zonal command. EFCC said a large quantity of products stored in large tanks and drums were discovered during the arrest however could not be evacuated due to security reasons.
According to EFCC, the petroleum products were illegally refined products transported across the state. The statement reads in part “they were arrested at Abonima wharf area, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, where suspected illegally refined petroleum products, ferried across rivers are offloaded and trans-loaded into vehicles and trucks for distribution within Rivers state and other states. The suspects were arrested based on credible intelligence available to the EFCC, on their alleged illegal oil bunkering operations. In the course of the arrest, a large quantity of products stored in large tanks and drums were discovered but could not be evacuated for security reasons. However, a Volkswagen Passat Car with registration number ABM 146 RR Rivers was recovered.
“The arrest of the suspects was met with stiff resistance with officers of the EFCC who were attacked with dangerous weapons, with the rear windscreen of one of the Commission’s buses used for the operation damaged. Earlier in the year, the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, raised alarm over the operation of illegal refineries and oil bunkering by some unscrupulous individuals in the state.