A Nigerian Navy in Delta State, on Wednesday, showed off two suspected pipeline vandals arrested at Asugbo Creek in Warri South Local Government Area of the state.
Commodore Chindo Yahaya, the Commander of the Nigerian Navy Ship Delta, presented by the Executive Officer, NNS Delta, Navy Captain Solomon Paul, while parading the two suspected pipeline vandals, told journalists that the duo was seized in the Delta Creek on Sunday, September 27th at 2.35 pm by the naval patrol team in conjunction with the staff of a private surveillance firm, Ocean Marine Solution when the operatives discovered a vandalized and leaking pipeline.
On further inquiry, according to the Navy, the patrol team noticed an illegal connection on the pipeline.
Thus, the surrounding area was strictly searched by the team, and eventually three persons were in a canoe about 20 meters away from the vandalized pipeline.
The PUNCH compiled that on sighting the operatives, the three persons attempted to escape but two of them were captured while the third escaped.
The two that were captured were signified to the Nigerian Navy Ship Delta for interrogation.The Navy said that “even though the two suspects had sworn to be fishermen, no fishing gears neither fishing nets nor hooks were found with them or within the nearest environment.”
The Navy stated further that the culprits “were unable to provide a convincing explanation as to the reason for their attempted escape and whereabouts of the third person who escaped.“Hence, there is a need for a thorough investigation to ascertain those responsible for the illegal connection on the oil pipeline along Asugbo Creek on the stated date and time for appropriate legal action.”
Afterward, the two suspects were handed over to the Divisional Officer, Warri South Division of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, Chief Superintendent of Corps, Victor Igbinoba, “for further investigation and necessary prosecution.”
Meanwhile, the Commander, NNS Delta, has cautioned that all persons involved in crude oil theft and other forms of criminal activities in the Delta creeks would not be treated with kid gloves.
Yahaya said, “The NNS Delta, in line with the Chief of the Naval Staff Strategic Directive 2023 – 6, will not rest on its oars in ensuring that her area of operations is rid of oil theft and pipeline vandalism.”