By Emma Amaize
WARRIâ€”A syndicate of oil thieves in the Niger-Delta has threatened to deal with members of a non_governmental organisation, Niger Delta Waterways Vigilante, NDWV,Â for allegedly exposing their modus operandi to the Directorate of Petroleum Resources, DPR.
It was learnt that it was following an alarm by the group on the new strategy of the syndicate in gaining entrance to communities used as loading points that an Ocean _going vessel, MV Shekinah and its 17 crew members were arrested, last week, by the Joint Task Force, JTF, on the Niger_Delta the Escravos Bar in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State.
The suspects who were arrested with stolen crude oil had since been handed over to the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, by the JTF Command in Warri for further investigation and prosecution.
Spokesman of the group, Chief Gabriel Okolosi, who confirmed the threats by the syndicate to some members of the organization said, â€œWe will not be intimidated by their threatsâ€.
He said the members knew the risk associated with their assignment before they took it up and were prepared to pay the ultimate prize to continue in the struggle to ensure that the activities of crude oil thieves were exposed in order to save the nation from sabotage and consequent loss of millions of dollars it would have generated from the international oil market.
According to him, â€œWe have resolved that no amount of threat to the lives and property of our members can stop us from the goal we are set out to achieve. We can no longer allow criminally minded people to continue to subject our nation and people to act of sabotage and abject poverty for their selfish interest this even at the expense of our lives.â€
â€œBesides putting an end to this act of sabotage being perpetrated by these enemies of the state, our mission will also bring relief to the indigenes of the affected communities who have had to contend with many years of pollution in their environment as a result of the activities of these criminals,â€ he asserted.