Police parade suspected pipeline vandals, sea pirates in Bayelsa

Yenagoa—The Bayelsa State Police Command Tuesday paraded some suspects said to be involved in pipeline vandalism, sea piracy and kidnapping in the state.

The police in a press briefing by its Public Relations Officer, SP Asinim Butswat on Tuesday narrated that upon consistent attacks on oil facilities in the state, the police acting on intelligence arrested one of the culprits, Kelvin Sutomwa Martin, a 37-year-old male from Yenagoa on August 6th, 2022.

Butswat said Martin has been on the wanted list of the police for various crimes including kidnapping, sea piracy, and pipeline vandalism.

The police further disclosed that the rest of the culprits were arrested in a follow-up operation on the 12th of August with the help of intelligence gathered from Mr. Martin.

According to the police, the following names who are all residents of Nembe-Ogbolomabiri were arrested after a fierce gun battle:

Ebiegberi Paul, a 42-year-old male, Christian Ayibatariworio, a 43-year-old male, Owori Clarkson Paul, a 45-year-old male, and Beregha Kingsley, a 32-year-old male who is also known as Kalaboy.

“In recent times, the Bayelsa State Police Command was confronted with reported cases of pipeline vandalism, sea piracy, and illegal oil bunkering activities.

“These crimes have negatively impacted our environment – most especially the Marine life – and the economy of the country at large.

“You may recall that on 30th July 2022 at 0200 hours, pipeline vandals blew up a Trunkline carrying crude oil from Omoku to Brass Terminal at Etiama, Nembe Local Government Area, Bayelsa State.

“In a related attack, on 11 August 2022, at about 0100 hours, the same vandals with the aid of an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blew up a crude oil delivery pipeline at Obama Tekere River. This line also supplies crude oil to Brass Terminal.

“Worried by these attacks, the Commissioner of Police Bayelsa State Command CP Ben Nebolisa Okolo FDC, charged the command’s tactical teams to intensify efforts to arrest the perpetrators.

“Consequently, on 6th August 2022 at about 1145 hours, acting on credible intelligence, the operatives of the Anti kidnapping unit arrested one Kelvin Sutomwa Martin ‘m’ 37 years aka Lugard at Agbura, Yenagoa.

“The suspect has been on the wanted list of the command for various offences such as kidnapping, sea piracy, and pipeline vandalism. Upon interrogation, the suspect mentioned his cohorts who are residents of Ogbolomabiri in Nembe Local Government Area.

“In a follow-up operation on 12 August 2022 operatives of the Anti kidnapping unit in collaboration with youths working for Labrador Security outfit arrested one Ebiegberi Paul ‘m’ 42 years, Christian Ayibatariworio ‘m’ 43 years, Owori Clarkson Paul ‘m’ 45 years and Beregha Kingsley ‘m’ 32 years, aka Kalaboy, after a fierce gun battle at their hideout in Nembe Creek.”

Butswat further said, “All suspects have confessed to their involvement in the recent attacked on a crude oil delivery pipeline at Obama Tekere River and a Trunkline at Etiama, Nembe Local Government Area.”

While he said the police will continue to collaborate and synergize with other sister security agencies, and community youths to protect national infrastructure, Butswat revealed that suspects will be charged to court after investigation.

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