BUNKERING: TASKFORCE IMPOUNDS 3 TRUCKS IN EDO
Three trucks used for illegal siphoning of crude oil by vandals were over the weekend impounded by the Edo State Taskforce on Pipeline Protection Committee at Obazagbon NNPC Pipeline axis of Ehor, in Uhunwonde local government area of Edo state.
The committee pointed the finger at members of the Petroleum Tankers Drivers (PTD), Benin depot as the likely pepertrators
The trucks fully loaded with contents suspected to be black oil were intercepted by men of the taskforce at about 4.30 pm on Friday, following a tip off by field workers on the activities of the vandals in the community.
Speaking with journalists at the scene of vandalisation in Obazagbon, a field worker of the committee, Innocent Okpahahu told journalists that they got information about the activities of the vandals in their community and they decided to respond by mobilizing their personnel to the venue.
He disclosed that at the scene, they discovered two trucks with registration numbers Lagos, XV 546 EPE and Lagos XU 275 GGE allegedly belonging to some members of the Petroleum Tankers Driver Union (PTD), Benin Depot at the site with the vandals pumping the oil from the burst pipeline into the waiting trucks.
He told newsmen that, while they apprehended the driver of the truck and his boys at the scene, one of the suspects immediately made a call to operatives of the state security outfit tagged 'Operation Thunderstorm', who came to rescue them from the taskforce on the pretence that they were being taken to the police station.
The field worker said that, their findings however revealed that the suspects were being aided by the security operatives to carry out their nefarious activities, noting that, some members of the Petroleum Tankers Union Branch of NUPENG, Benin Depot, were involved in the vandalisation of pipeline in the state.
According to him, 'At about 4.30 pm on Friday, we got information that vandals were at Obazagbon in Ehor , Uhunmwode Local Government Area and apprehended two trucks and another at Ujogba. We immediately called our chairman in Benin, but before he came, one of the suspects immediately called someone and before you know it, a truck belonging to Operation Thunderstorm came with soldiers and two civilians who claimed to be owners of the truck and took them away to unknown destination.'
'Having waited for the arrival of our chairman, the soldiers came back to meet us but without the driver of the trucks and their boys, when we asked one of the soldiers who calls himself, Crocodile Jimoh, he threatened to shoot us.'