The General Officer Commanding, 81 Division, Maj. Gen. Enobong Udoh, said in a statement that the suspects were arrested at different places between Lagos and Ogun states.
According to the GOC, the arrests were made following reliable information received from well-meaning Nigerians during anti-illegal bunkering and anti-pipeline vandalism patrol.
“This arrest was made in conjunction with Department of State Security, Inspector General of Police Task Force Team, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, Federal Road Safety Corp and Lagos Neighborhood Safety Corps.
“We swooped on suspected pipeline vandals at Magboro in Ogun State along Lagos/Ibadan Expressway on May 16.
“On sighting the troops, the armed vandals fired sporadically before abandoning their vehicles loaded with the refined PMS and some empty jerry cans and fled to avoid being arrested.
“Notwithstanding, the troops arrested 12 suspected vandals during a Cordon and Search Operation conducted around the vicinity,” he said.
Udoh said 24 vehicles, comprising of three trailer trucks, nine buses, eight space wagons, one Hilux van, three salon cars and four motorcycles abandoned by the vandals, were recovered.
“Other items recovered include 166 50-litre jerry cans loaded with refined petrol, 130 empty 50-litres jerry cans, approximately 8,300 litres of refined PMS.
“However, while recovering them, one of the vehicles caught fire and was completely razed,” he said.
The GOC said the troops also raided a location where suspected vandals were carrying out their sabotage activities along NNPC pipeline at Akute.
“The vandals concealed their vehicles with refined oil products and fled on arrival of the troops.
“Five suspected vandals were arrested at the scene and items recovered include nine vehicles, comprising six buses, two heavy-storage trucks and one sports utility vehicle.
“Other items recovered include one motorcycle, seven mobile phones, 371 of 50-litres and 42 of 25-litres jerry cans loaded with refined PMS, 106 empty 50-jerry cans, a hose of about 500 metres in length used for syphoning products with approximately 19,600 litres of stolen PMS being recovered,” the statement stated
He enjoined the public to continue reaching out to the numbers below to give useful information that would assist in ridding their areas of criminal elements:
“The numbers are 07069353889 and 08060492529 for Ojo residents, 07017064979 for Badagry,
08034347484 for Victoria Island,
08065992320 for Ikeja
08069097624 for Owode
08065806870 for Ikorodu
07064281177 for Obalende
08057705135 for Abeokuta residents.”