The arrest of an alleged notorious kingpin of oil pipe vandalism,Ogunmola Shuiabu has been described as a victory in the fight against the nefarious activities of pipeline marauders.
In a statement in Abuja by its Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Tuesday, said this was following concerted efforts by its management and security agencies who are working to combat the menace of oil theft and pipeline vandalism.
Ughamadu explained that the illegal activities of Ogunmola had through the years, led to loss of millions of litres of products along the Lagos Atlas Cove strip in the strategic System 2B pipeline network.
Ughamadu disclosed that Shuaibu was captured recently at his luxury hotel in Ilashe community, along the Badagry Creek by officers and men of Operation Awatse, a Joint Military Task Force on oil theft and pipeline vandalism anchored by the Western Naval Command, Apapa, Lagos.
He explained that investigations thus far revealed that Shuaibu had operated a thriving oil theft racket for decades, hacking pipelines in some island communities in Amuwo-Odofin Local Government Area of Lagos State along the System 2B network right- of- way.
Providing details on the mode of operation of the Shuaibu-led syndicate, Ughamadu said, “The gang executed their illegal trade by digging holes metres away from the corporation’s products pipeline, which essentially serve as storage tanks for products directly siphoned from the lines at a hack point.
“These holes which are cast in drums receive products simultaneously from the labyrinth of pipelines connected to the trunk line directly linked to the ruptured NNPC line. The products so harvested are later scoped or transferred into jerrycans and drums and are sold to ready buyers who usually throng the beachside.”
From that point, that the products were shipped to Cotonou which has a firmly established market for smuggled Nigerian fuel”.