Concerted efforts by the Management of the NNPC and security agencies to combat the menace of oil theft and pipeline vandalism received a major boost with the capture of Shuaibu Ogunmola.
He is an alleged notorious oil pipeline kingpin, whose illegal activities through the years, led to loss of millions of litres of products along the Lagos Atlas Cove strip in the strategic System 2B pipeline network.
Shuaibu was captured recently at his luxury hotel in Ilashe, along the Badagry Creek. He had operated a thriving oil theft racket for decades, hacking pipelines.
The Shuaibu-led syndicate executed their illegal trade by digging boles metres away from the corporation’s products pipeline, which essentially serve as storage tanks for products directly siphoned from the lines at a hack point.
These holes which are cast in drums, receive products simultaneously from the labyrinth of pipelines connected to the trunk line directly linked to the ruptured NNPC line.
The products so harvested are later scoped or transferred into jerrycans and drums and are sold to ready buyers who usually throng the beachside.
From that point, the products were shipped to Coutonou which has a firmly established market for smuggled Nigerian fuel.
The suspect was the ultimate godfather of oil thieves in Ilashe and adjoining settlements, where he consigned portions of his territory and offered operating rights to other thieves to operate and bring in returns at agreed rates and terms.
Investigation revealed that the Ilashe pipeline axis have been divided into three ‘oil fields’ by the criminals under the operating titles of Shuaibu Point, Dele Point and Bashiru Point.