Ogun - No fewer than 28 suspected pipeline vandals were on Monday arrested in a joint security operation in Ogere-Remo, Ikenne Local Government Area of Ogun.
The operation was carried out by the military and Ogun Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
The Commanding Officer, 35 Artillery Brigade, Abeokuta, Brig.-Gen. David Ahmadu, told newsmen during his on-the-spot assessment of the area that the arrest was effected in the early hours of the day.
He said that the suspects were arrested while syphoning petroleum products from Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) pipelines in Ogere-remo.
According to him, the operation was made successful by the combined efforts of military men and anti-vandalism unit of NSCDC, who acted on a tip-off by some villagers.
"Criminals that were caught for perpetrating this act are 28; where we stand is the loading point and it is about 2km away from where they connected the hose to the pipe.
"What happened is actually the collaborative efforts of security agencies and I sound a note of warning to persons who may want to indulge in such act of criminality.
"No act of criminality will be allowed in Ogun state and Nigeria in general, as far as pipeline vandalism and any other act of criminality are concerned,'' he said.
Also speaking, Commander of NSCDC in Ogun, Akinwande Aboluwaye, said that seven vehicles, 363 fuel-laden kegs, a long hose and substances believed to be charms were recovered from the scene.
He added that all the suspects would be charged to court as soon as investigation into the matter was concluded.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent, who was at the scene, reports that petroleum was still gushing out from the hose connected to the pipeline as at 10 a.m.