Two illegal refineries have been uncovered in Oguda village in Okene Local Government Area of Kogi State by the Federal Government task force on pipeline vandalization.
The head of the task force, Assistant Commissioner of Police Friday Ibadin, who conducted journalists round the illegal refineries, said two suspects, John Taribu and Moses Apanye were also arrested in connection with the illegal refineries.
He said while on patrol in the area at about 2 am in the morning, they saw smoke bellowing from an area called monkey forest, hence they decided to visit the area to ascertain what was happening there. He said on getting there, they were surprised to meet the suspects refining crude oil.
He said the suspects vandalize petroleum pipelines that pass through the area, cover them with hose, after which they start scooping crude oil from it. Ibadin added that they use drums to refine the product in the forest.
He further stated that security agents cannot tackle the crime without intelligence reports, soliciting the collaboration of all stakeholders.
Also speaking, the Lokoja station superintendent of the Pipeline and Product Marketing Company, Mr. Obabokor Anslem, said pipeline vandalism is the major challenge confronting the station.
He said cases of pipeline vandalization have reduced in the country since the Inspector General of Police set up a task force team to address the problem.
Liaison officer of the area, Ahmed Ogembe, assured the security operatives of his cooperation in the fight against oil bunkering and pipeline vandalism.
Speaking to newsmen, one of the suspects, John Taribu, said he was lured into the business by one Sunny Ibiokuro, while Moses Apanye said he was at the site to assist John, who is his in-law.