The Niger Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), has arrested three suspected ‘black marketers’ for fabricating huge extra tanks in their vehicles.
The public relations officer of the corps, DSC Nasire Abdullahi, stated this while addressing newsmen on the arrest in Minna on Wednesday.
He said that the command had also impounded four vehicles used for the operation.
According to him, the anti-vandal squad of the command, acting on credible intelligence on Tuesday, arrested four vehicles at the mega station of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) in Minna.
“It was discovered that the vehicles were fitted with special constructed fuel tanks,” he said.
He said the suspects are Ismaila Mohammed, 27, Ibrahim Usman, 42 and Idris Adamu, 39.
The spokesman said that the driver of one of the vehicles escaped and efforts were on to arrest him.
Mr Abubakar said that the suspects would purchase the PMS at the federal government regulated price of N196 per litre, and sell to the public at N250 and N300.
He said that the activities of the suspects were causing untold hardship for members of the public.
Mr Abdullahi said that one of the vehicles, a Toyota Corolla, carried 500 litres of PMS in a fabricated constructed tank with 14 jerry cans measuring 25 litres.
He said that the second vehicle, a Toyota car also carried an inbuilt tank of 500 litres, while the third, a Jetta car carried constructed 200 litres with a normal 70 litres removed from another vehicle.
Mr Abubakar said that the fourth vehicle whose driver escaped carried an inbuilt tank measuring 1,000 litres.
He said that the manager of the NNPC mega station has been invited for questioning.
Mr Abdullahi said that after diligent investigations the suspects would be arraigned in court.
He said that the corps would not relent in its task to protect the critical assets of the country.
“The NSCDC will continue to keep 24 hours surveillance in all government facilities in Niger.
“The corps will clampdown on vandals and other economic saboteurs,” he said.
Ibrahim Usman, one of the suspects said that he ventured into the business because he has no job.
Mr Usman, who has two wives and 13 children, said that they normally tip the fuel pump attendants at NNPC to get the PMS.
“We give them N2, 000 to N3,000 to sell fuel to us.
“I cannot steal to take care of my family, so I have to go into buying and selling of fuel,” he said.
President Bola Tinubu on Monday announced the end of fuel subsidy, making the NNPC and other filling stations increase pump prices to N537 and N600 per litre across the country.