The Police Command in Nasarawa State says it has arrested a Chinese national and the Special Adviser to Gov. Abdullahi Sule on Infrastructures and 15 others over alleged vandalism of rail line facilities.
Bola Longe, commissioner of police in the state, confirmed this while addressing journalists on Thursday in Lafia.
He said other suspects arrested in connection with the crime included two policemen – an Inspector and a Sergeant attached to the State Criminal Investigation Department, Lafia; and a personnel of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC.
Mr Longe explained that the suspects were arrested in two separate operations while vandalising and carting away railway tracks and sleepers on May 16, and May 24, in Agyaragun Tofa in Lafia and Kadarko in Keana Local Government Areas of the state.
The commissioner said that the Chinese, a manager of a Steel Company in Tunga Maje, FCT Abuja, was arrested as the alleged buyer of the items.
He said that items recovered included two articulated trucks and two buses loaded with vandalised rail line facilities.
“Preliminary investigation into the cases so far revealed that it is a grand conspiracy involving high net worth individuals who act as sponsors and drivers of various syndicates that specialise in vandalising Nigeria railway lines in different parts of the state.
“This is a classic case of sabotage being perpetrated by unpatriotic Nigerians including some personnel of security agencies who are employed by the Nigerian state to protect lives and property.
“This criminal circus is sustained by companies mostly owned by foreign nationals who process steel and iron scraps to make wrongful gains at the expense of the national interest,” Mr Longe said.
The commissioner said investigation was ongoing into the matter at the State Criminal Investigation Department, Lafia.
Meanwhile, the command had also nabbed 50 other suspects for various criminal offences including kidnapping and armed robbery in parts of the state between March and May, this year.
He said items recovered from the suspects included five assorted firearms, six vehicles, three motorcycles and N760,000 cash.
The commissioner of police called for the continued support of citizens in order to rid the state of criminal elements.