Bayelsa State Police Command has arrested and paraded five notorious pipeline vandals, who specilised in breaking and damaging crude oil pipelines for illegal oil bunkering activities in the Niger Delta region.
The suspects were arrested by operatives of the Anti-kidnapping unit of the state command after acting on credible intelligence.
The state’s police spokesperson, Asinim Butswat, who spoke when the five suspects were paraded at the Command’s headquarters, said the arrest was one of the successes recorded in the fight against pipeline vandalism, illegal oil bunkering and economic sabotage in the state.
Recall that on July 30, 2022, pipeline vandals blew up a Trunkline carrying crude oil from Omoku to Brass Terminal at Etiama, Nembe Local Council of Bayelsa State.
In a related attack on August 11, 2022, the same vandals with the aid of an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blew up a crude oil delivery pipeline at Obama Tekere River. This line also supplies crude oil to Brass Terminal.
He said: “Worried by these attacks, the Commissioner of Police Bayelsa State Command ( CP) Ben Nebolisa Okolo, charged the Command’s tactical teams to intensify efforts to arrest the perpetrators.
“Consequently, on August 6, 2022, at about 1145 hours, acting on credible intelligence, the operatives of the Anti kidnapping unit arrested one Kelvin Sutomwa Martin, aka ‘Lugard’ at Agbura, Yenagoa. The suspect has been on the wanted list of the Command for various offences such as: kidnapping, sea piracy and pipeline vandalism.”
Butswat revealed that upon interrogation, the suspect mentioned his cohorts, who are residents of Nembe Ogbolomabiri, Nembe Local Council of the state.
“In a follow-up operation on August 12, operatives of the Anti kidnapping unit in collaboration with youths working for Labrador Security outfit, arrested one Ebiebere Paul, Christian Ayibatariworio, Owori Clarkson Paul and Beregha Kingsley, aka kalaboy, after a fierce gun battle at their hideout in Nembe Ogbolomabiri and Nembe Creek.
“All the suspects have confessed to their involvement in the recent attacks on a Crude oil delivery pipeline at Obama Tekere River and a Trunkline at Etiama, Nembe Local Government Areas.
“ The Bayelsa State Police Command will continue to collaborate and synergize with other sister security agencies, community youths and relevant stakeholders to protect critical national infrastructure.
“The suspects will be charged to court at the conclusion of the investigation.
“In recent times, the Bayelsa State Police Command was confronted with reported cases of pipeline vandalism, sea piracy and illegal oil bunkering activities. These crimes have negatively impacted our environment, most especially Marine life – and the economy of the country at large.”