The corps said suspected oil thieves had vandalised facilities including pipes belonging to Sahara Oil, thereby siphoning the crude, with the intent to establish an illegal refining site.
The NSCDC spokesman, Rivers State Command, Olufemi Ayodele, disclosed this in a statement issued in Port Harcourt, the state capital, on Monday night.
Ayodele said following intelligence gathered by its marine unit, personnel moved in to stop the illicit activity and possibly apprehend the suspects
The statement read, “With a renewed vigour to combat the menace of illegal oil bunkering activities, vandalism of oil pipelines and illegal dealings in petroleum products, the Marine Unit of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Rivers State Command, has foiled the operations of owners of local refineries in Cawthome Channel One, Degema Local Government Area of Rivers State.
“The NSCDC Commandant-General, Dr. Ahmed Audu, has zero tolerance for all acts of economic sabotage, hence, he directed the Rivers State Commandant, Basil Igwebueze, to step up intelligence and protection of all critical national assets and infrastructure both on land and the waterways
The success of the Marine Unit hinged on credible intelligence that some suspects were carrying out illegal oil bunkering activities at Cawthome Channel in Damakiri Area, having vandalised Sahara Oil Well Heads and pipes; they went further to siphon crude oiil and establish a local refining site in the area .
Ayodele added that “with full determination to combat the menace of illegal oil bunkering activities on the waterways; the Marine Unit swung into action by taking charge of the environment.
“Notably, the suspects took to their heels upon sighting the marine operatives.