The Lagos state command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) has intercepted five suspected petroleum pipeline vandals and impounded 13750 litres of diesel which they were transporting to Benin republic by water.
Parading the suspects, the commandant of the corps, Mr Tajudeen Balogun called on Nigerians to collaborate with security agencies in protecting public infrastructure.
The five suspects, all nationals of Benin republic were caught in Badagry where they loaded 55 drums of diesel for transportation to their country.
Mr Balogun said that the command’s intelligence department has been on their trail for months before finally catching them red-handed on the fateful night.
“It’s a result of hard work of our intelligence officers who have been monitoring events on the high sea. We were able to arrest these five suspects, and preliminary investigations confirm that they cannot explain the source of this product.”
While calling on members of the public for tip-off about activities of vandals and other criminal elements in their neighborhood, Mr Balogun said the suspects will soon be arraigned, adding that the command has evidence capable of nailing them.
“Some of them have been caught, and some have been sentenced to prison. We have about four cases we have won of recent, and I’m sure that this one is likely – with all the evidence we have on ground and with further investigation, is likely to follow the same.
The suspects who spoke through an interpreter claimed they were fishermen contracted by a certain dealer from their country to transport the consignment from Badagry.
Meanwhile, six other people earlier arrested by command for illegal marketing and distribution of petroleum products have been sentenced to 20 months imprisonment each in a judgement delivered by the federal high court Lagos.