Three suspected petroleum products smugglers are currently cooling off at the headquarters of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Delta State Command, Asaba.
The three suspects, all male, were arrested by men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) along the Ughelli-Port Harcourt Expressway in Delta State, when the truck used in conveying the illegally refined petroleum products was intercepted.
While parading the suspects at the Command headquarters in Asaba yesterday, Mr Iskilu Akinsanya, State Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), said investigations revealed that the suspects operated between Delta, Rivers, Benue and the South West with their base in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
According to him, when the truck was intercepted by his men, they inquired from the suspects the content of the truck and then the papers, and it was discovered that it was an illegally refined product.
The Commandant described their act as inimical to the economic development of Nigeria, adding that the suspects would be charged to court after investigations.
He further disclosed that his command had received a mandate from the force headquarters to double its efforts at securing critical national assets and to protect the lives and property of the citizenry.
The truck driver, Mr Peters Abayomi, said he was contracted by an Alhaji to convey the product, and swore that it was his first time on such a mission. “I was not aware that it was an illegal product. The person that gave me is Alhaji, he stays in Ibadan. This is our first time”, he said.
The other two suspects also confessed to having committed the crime, but also claimed that it was their first attempt at the illegal operation.