Four suspects have been taken into custody by the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps’ Niger Command for allegedly running an illicit refinery in the state’s Tafa Local Government Area that produced Low Pour Fuel Oil (LPFO).
This is stated in a statement made on Sunday in Minna by SC Nasir Abdullahi, the state’s civil defense public relations officer.
According to the statement, “With a renewed vigour, the anti-vandal squad of the command, through credible intelligence, arrested the suspects at Sabon Wuse area of Tafa local government area of Niger State for their alleged involvement and illegal dealings in petroleum products.
“Based on the available intelligence, our anti-vandal squad swung into action and four suspects operating an oil dump site were arrested. On the site, we met their production gadgets and materials used for mixing LPFO.
“From the confessional statements volunteered by the suspects, they confirmed that they operate an oil dump site where LPFO, popularly known as black oil, is being adulterated by mixing condemned oil, crude oil and Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) to finally produce LPFO.”
The NSCDC state commandant, Joachim Okafor said the first suspect, Abdullahi Musa, male, 45, who hails from Jigawa State, is into the sale of adulterated oil (black oil) to customers who buy and use it without knowing the oil could damage their engines.
He said that the second suspect, Hussein Sulaiman, male, 25, from Nassarawa State, worked as an apprentice under Abubakar Saidu (owner of the dump site), who is at large and would have been the fifth suspect.
The Commandant said that the third suspect, Murtala Mohammed, male, 37, who hails from Kano State, does business in gas and petrol, while the fourth suspect is Mohammed Sanusi, male, 35, from Kano State and trades in engine oil, petrol, and gas.
He disclosed that during the recent arrest, the four suspects were caught pouring about three drums of crude oil into a carved concrete container in preparation for mixing to produce LPFO.
Okafor also said that an apartment used for soap production was also sighted with many drums and chemicals in the illegal facility.
“During the arrest, the suspects could not produce any licence of operation; hence, they have been operating illegally, making the public buy adulterated products,” he said.
He said that a thorough investigation would be carried out to ascertain the level of involvement of the suspects, after which they would be appropriately charged in court.
The Commandant urged the populace to pursue worthwhile endeavors instead of running the risk of being discovered conducting any kind of economic sabotage, as those who are caught would be subject to the full force of the law.
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