The Abia State Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corp (NSCDC) has apprehended two suspects carrying 20, 000 litres of crude oil in a truck on their way from Port Harcourt to Imo State.
According to the State Commandant, Dr.Benito Eze, the command would not rest on its oars to ensure that the oil thieves are chased out of the state.
He hinted that officers of the command are working assiduously to handle the various tactics employ by the oil vandals that are crippling the economy and siphoning the money meant for the entire country through their dastard activities.
Although the two suspects, Banjo Ayo a mechanic by profession claimed ignorance, his counterpart Charles Nwachukwu said he was forced into the business by hunger.
While speaking with journalists, one of the suspects, Nwachukwu, who was the driver of the truck, admitted committing the alleged offence. He said that he was paid N30,000 by one Michael Chukwu, who owned the truck, to transport the consignment from Port Harcourt to Owerri.
He added that although he knew it was an illegal business, he was compelled to accept the job because of the harsh economic condition in the country. He absolved Banjo, who is an automobile mechanic, of complicity in the alleged crime.
He said that he invited Banjo from Owerri to come and fix the truck, when it broke down on the expressway, while on his way back. Banjo said he joined the truck after fixing it before they were arrested on their way back to Owerri, adding that the truck conductor escaped arrest. Meanwhile, the commander said that the suspects would be charged to court at the end of the ongoing investigation.
Mr Eze said the truck was intercepted at Obehie in Ukwa West Local Government Area when a stop and search surveillance team of NSCDC along Aba=Port Harcourt expressway suspected foul play and directed the truck to move to NSCDC exhibit station at Isialangwa LGA for proper search.
After offloading the contents of the truck one after the other, the hidden tank containing stolen crude oil was found.
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