• While the EFCC interrogates 22 suspects in Port Harcourt

Officers from the Rivers State Command of the Nigerian Police (NPF) marched 18 suspected oil thieves, whose activities polluted the environment with soot.

Speaking during the suspects’ parade at command headquarters on the Moscow road in Port Harcourt yesterday, State Police Commissioner Friday Eboka revealed that the activities of the suspects played a central and critical role in the contribution to air pollution suffered in the state. .

According to him, command officers also impounded two tankers and two large trucks used for the illegal storage and transport of crude oil.

He noted that among the 18 suspects, five members of the same family in the village of Mgbu-Atafa in the council of Emohua were arrested for providing land for the use of illicit activities.

“These people were engaged in illegal bunkering and oil refining activities in various parts of the state. These activities play a primary and essential role in contributing to the unhealthy levels of air pollution encountered in the state.

“A special case to note is the arrest of five suspects from a particular family in the village of Mgbu-Atafa of the Emohua council. These suspects were arrested for providing their land to people for use in illegal oil refining and bunkering activities, ”he said.

The police commissioner, however, took the opportunity to warn families and communities in the state to renounce such activities, adding that any person or group of people arrested would be prosecuted.

“We would like to take this opportunity to warn all individuals, families and communities in Rivers State to stop cooperating with individuals in such illegal activities. Any person or group of people recognized as accomplices in such activities will be duly arrested and prosecuted in accordance with the law, ”he warned.

ALSO, 22 suspected oil thieves and one ship, the MT. TIS IV, handed over to the Port Harcourt Zone Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) by the Nigerian Navy, is questioned about illegal trafficking in petroleum products.

The suspects are: Levi Jonathan; Eze Kenneth; Enemari Peter James; Sunday Ereku; Emmanuel Ogbonna; Timi Amos; Fatai Karim; Chuks Egbo, Tony Atawo and Sauveur Martin.

The others are: Yoosu Alex; Isac Iboro; Bassey Okon; Kingsley Edet; Taye Poto; Sober Saturday; Alfred Atiémie; Owei Ibolo; Félix Onome; Odus Osita, Etim Edet and Mudashird Tarheed.

Nigerian Navy representative, Navy Commander P. E Effah, who handed over the suspects and the vessel to the EFCC, said they were arrested for alleged involvement in illegal oil bunkering activities.

At the time of the arrest, the vessel was loaded with approximately 700,000 liters of products suspected of being crude oil of illegal origin.

“The ship and the suspects have been remanded in Brass to be held in a safe place and to conduct preliminary investigations. However, today we are handing over the vessel and crew members to the EFCC for a proper investigation, ”he said.

EFCC spokesman Wilson Uwujaren yesterday said commission representative EFCC deputy superintendent Anthony Mark, who picked up on the suspects, thanked the Navy and promised an investigation. diligent and possible prosecution of suspects.