The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba, has ordered tactical and intelligence Commanders of the Force to deploy assets towards tackling perpetrators of illegal bunkering and other economic crimes.
According to the IGP in a statement issued by the Force Public Relations Officer, Force Headquarters Abuja, CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, the actions of the perpetrators are responsible for sabotaging and weakening the revenue-generating apparatus of the country.
He also stressed that it has become worrisome due to the huge losses being recorded, hence, all efforts must be deployed to curb their activities.
The IGP issued the directive on Thursday while charging the newly appointed Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of the IGP Special Task Force on Petroleum and Illegal Bunkering (IGP-STFPIB), ACP Lot Lantoh Garba, to improve on the fight against economic crimes.
ACP Lot, a gallant and courageous officer, has served in various operational command positions including as Commanding Officer, Special Protection Unit (SPU) Bases 5 – Benin, 7 – Abuja, and 2 – Lagos.
He was equally a one-time Commander, Police Mobile Force (PMF) 23 Obalende, Lagos.
Upon assumption of office, ACP Lot set the ball rolling with some significant successes such as the breakthrough in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State, where operatives on surveillance patrol intercepted a 40-feet Container Truck conveying a large quantity of crude products suspected to be illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) stuffed in sacks.
The truck with Registration Number JRV 322 XV was driven by one Chukwudi Okafor aged 54 year-old, who has been arrested in connection with the offence.
Preliminary investigations showed that the driver is a member of a high-powered syndicate responsible for illegal bunkering in the area and beyond, and the arrest of the driver has definitely provided a lead to the arrest of other members of the syndicate.
The recovered truck with the accompanying product is currently in police custody at the Refinery Life Camp Division, Eleme, pending the conclusion of investigations.
The Inspector-General of Police, therefore, warned police operatives attached to the Task Force to be focused, committed, and patriotic. He charged them to discharge their duties devoid of corruption, favouritism, and compromise.
The IGP further warned all economic saboteurs to cease their unwholesome activities henceforth else they would be made to face the full wrath of the law.
The Force has also noted that it is deepening synergy with other agencies in internal security, to curtail the trend of these crimes and other forms of crimes and social vices in the country.