A suspected pipeline vandal identified as , Fatai Karounwi, has been arrested by the police, after he confessed the he makes N50,000 every day in the illegal act, adding that he had vandalised over 40 pipes before he was arrested by the police.
Karounwi, aka Kokoro, who said he had been into the illegal act for the past three years, added that he was introduced to the crime by a friend, Oyebanji Agboola, aka Fish.
Karounwi and Agboola were among 10 suspected militants and vandals paraded by the Zone 2 Police Command, Onikan, Lagos State on Tuesday.
Others are Tochukwu Ohanexim, 38; Oluwadamilare Ojo, 32; Akeju Adeniyi, 38; Musbau Afolabi, 29; Musa Akanbi, 32; Yusuf Ajiboye ,26; Ojo Ige, 28; and Innocent Ikechukwu, 42.
Karounwi, in his confessional statement, said they always moved in large numbers whenever they were going for any operation.
He said, “I am an ‘engineer.’ I live at Ogijo and was arrested after I received a phone call from my friend. I didn’t know that the police had arrested him. I work with the vandals. I usually assist in drilling holes into pipelines. We move into the high sea to steal the fuel. They pay me N50,000 any day I work with them. I have vandalised more than 40 different pipelines. We are usually many that go for pipeline vandalism operations. We work on land and sea.
“A friend of mine, Fish, introduced me to pipeline vandalism. I have been working with this set of vandals for two months, but I have been into pipeline vandalism for the past three years.”
Some of the suspects, however, said the pipelines were sometime vandalised by guards employed to watch over the pipelines at the Ogijo and Ikorodu areas of Lagos State.
They said after damaging the pipelines and siphoning the fuel, the guards would hand them over to their wives, who would sell to members of the public.
Ikechukwu, who claimed to be a buyer of the stolen product, said, “I don’t buy fuel from the men; I buy from women. Their husbands are the vandals. They give the women the fuel and the women sell to us. My profit margin, most times, is only N500.”
Another suspect, Ohanezim, said he bought directly from the guards.
The Zonal Police Public Relations Officer, SP Dolapo Badmos, said the police recovered two pump-action rifles, four live cartridges, two pumping machines, one army bullet-proof vest, one army fez cap and one Toyota Corolla.
Badmos, who said the operation was conducted by the Zonal Intervention Squad, added that the team acted on the directive of the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Adamu Ibrahim.
She said, “The AIG, angered by the recent ambush and murder of four policemen and an army captain at Isawo by militant vandals, ordered the ZIS to ensure vigilance and also rid the community of criminals.
“Information was received by the commander of the ZIS that suspected militants, who were also vandals responsible for the murder of security operatives in Isawo recently, were noticed around Ogijo, in the Ikorodu area. Detectives were detailed to track down the hoodlums, leading to the arrest of the suspects. We also recovered 150 jerrycans of petroleum product from them.”
Source: ( Punch Newspaper )