The police in Lagos State have arrested a suspected vandal, Moshood Jibril, who said his gang usually settled security agents with about N500,000 to transport stolen Premium Motor Spirit (popularly called petrol) to Ibadan, Oyo State.
Jibril, who was nabbed alongside an accomplice, Joseph Friday, said he also brought in cars illegally from the Benin Republic to sell in the country.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the suspects were arrested by operatives of the Inspector-General of Police Special Taskforce on Anti-Pipeline Vandalism on Friday in the Isolo area of the state, after they had allegedly siphoned fuel from a pipeline belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation in the Ijegun area.
Our correspondent gathered that a truck loaded with 33,000 litres of stolen fuel, and a Toyota car were recovered from the suspects.
Speaking with PUNCH Metro, Jibril said the truck conveying the products belonged to his elder brother, identified as Rasheed Adewale, adding that his role was to escort the stolen fuel to Ibadan.
He said, “My job is to escort the truck from Lagos after we have loaded the fuel. I would drive behind the truck and a woman called Anna would bring N500,000 which we would use to settle security agents on our way.
“It was while we were waiting for the woman on Friday that the police arrested me. I did not know how they found out that we had just finished loading.
“I also do smuggling. I bring cars from the Benin Republic to various parts of the country. It was my elder brother, Rasheed, who introduced me to this business. He is the owner of the products and the Toyota car I was caught with.”
The second suspect, Friday, said he was promised N300,000 to deliver the fuel to buyers in Ibadan.
He said, “This is the first time I would be called for the job. I had never stolen fuel before. I was promised N300,000 by one Bayo who invited me. I did not know that it is called illegal bunkering.
“They said I was going to move fuel from a faulty truck in the area. But when I got there, I saw a long hose on the ground and they started pumping. I saw that the hose was connected to a damaged pipeline.
“Bayo and a woman, simply known as Anna, were the ones loading the fuel. They told me some soldiers were aware of the deal, and they would provide protection for me. It was when we got to the Isolo Bridge that the police arrested us.”
The Commander of the Task Force, CSP Valentine Olumese, said the police acted on an intelligent report.
“We are working to apprehend all those who are also connected to the operation,” he added.