Nigerian Navy Arrests Ghanaian, Eight Beninoise For Oil Theft

The Nigerian Navy has said it arrested nine foreign nationals
alongside two boats and seven trucks over alleged stolen Petrol Motor
Spirit (PMS) around the Atlas Cove area of Lagos.

The Commander,
Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) BEECROFT, Commodore Ibrahim Shettima said this
while briefing reporters at the command in Apapa, Lagos.

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He said
the arrest of the products, suspects, boats and the trucks happened
between May 10 and 12 at Atlas Cove Island and Nigeria-Benin Republic
Border.

Commodore Shettima said: “On May 10 at about 2am, a
patrol team deployed on the Atlas Cove Island discovered two trucks
containing about 200 x 25 Litre Plastic Cans around Akaraba area on the
Atlas Cove Island.

“Although no suspects were found at the scene,
it is believed that the plastic cans were prepared for usage in storing
illegally siphoned PMS from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation
(NNPC) pipelines.

“In a separate incident on the same day, at
about 5am, the patrol team also discovered another five trucks conveying
about 70 x 25 Litre plastic cans around Abule Glass area on the Atlas
Cove Island.

“It is opined that the vehicles were kept in preparation for the movement of stolen product from the NNPC pipelines.”

The
Commander added that two boats and foreign nationals were also arrested
by naval men on routine patrol along the Nigeria-Benin Boarder.

“On
May 12 around 6pm, a naval boat on routine patrol along Nigeria-Benin
Republic border intercepted two boats conveying a total of 85 x 250
Litre drums and another 150 X 25 Litre plastic cans suspected to be
containing Premium Motor Spirit (PMS). This is believed to have been
stolen from NNPC pipeline laid on the Atlas Cove Island.

“As at the time of the intercept, the two boats had a total of nine crew members comprising of one Ghanaian and eight Beninoise.

“Investigation
into the matter is ongoing with the view to unraveling their local
collaborators and accordingly, the vehicles and exhibits are in own
custody and would be handed over to prosecuting agencies,” he said.

Shettima
said the Atlas Cove Island accommodated an NNPC storage facility, which
was operated and managed by the Pipelines and Product Marketing Company
(PPMC) a subsidiary of NNPC.

“The facility is designed as a
transit depot to supply refined product to other NNPC depots at Mosimi,
Ore, Ibadan, and Shagamu areas. Over time, the facility is being
threatened by activities of pipeline vandals and in a strive to
checkmate this ugly trend, the base heightened patrols on the island and
its waterfront,” he said.

He said the act of illegally trading
in petroleum product around the Atlas Cove Island was unfortunate,
adding that most of the illegalities were perpetrated with the
collaboration and assistance of some unpatriotic Nigerians.

“It
is worthy of note that the navy under the leadership of the Chief of the
Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ette Ibas is determined to rid our
waterways and its connected creeks of all forms of criminality. NNS
BEECROFT is therefore committed to assisting NNPC deal with the issue of
petroleum product theft.

“The navy, therefore, uses this medium
to warn oil thieves and other criminal elements particularly in our
maritime environment to desist from these nefarious activities and
pursue lawful means of livelihood,” he said.

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