The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has arrested 7 suspects over alleged illegal oil bunkering and adulteration of crude oil worth over N10 million in Calabar, Cross River.
Mr Stephen Lar, Commandant of NSCDC in the state, disclosed this while addressing newsmen on the arrest in Calabar South on Wednesday.
He disclosed that the command had declared zero tolerance for illegal crude activities in the area, and added that the suspects would be prosecuted as soon as investigation was completed.
“In keeping with our core mandate of protecting Nigeria’s critical national asset, particularly the oil sector; we carried out an operation early this morning following a tip-off.
“This channel is being used in carrying products into the town. We came here this morning and found the illegality of transporting adulterated petroleum product through this channel.
“We were able to recover 200 drums of adulterated crude and we arrested seven suspects in connection with this economic sabotage. Some of the suspects escaped and we are trailing them.
“ Cross River has no pipeline, but it is a route for bunkers. When they have gone to other places to carry out these illegal activities, they use Cross River to pass through,’’ he said.
The commandant said that NSCDC was determined in ensuring that the route was no longer used by bunkers for sabotage of the nation’s economic resources.
He said that the act portended a serious danger to the country’s economy, while expressing dissatisfaction with individuals who create artificial refinery to refine adulterated products.
“This type of product causes a lot of damages to our vehicles and engines. We must continue to monitor this route in other to prevent all forms of illegality.
“We shall not relent in our effort to make sure that this criminality on the maritime sector is stopped. We are also working with the Nigerian Navy to ensure a safer maritime domain,’’ he added.
The commandant warned those involved in the illegal act to desist from it, and added that the eagle eyes of the command were everywhere to curb all forms of illegality along the maritime domain.
He said that after proper investigation, the suspects would be charged to court and the product would be forfeited if the command wins the case in court.
“When the product is forfeited and found to be genuine, it can be auctioned out and if found not to be genuine, we can get clearance from appropriate authority to destroy it,’’ he stated