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Nigerian Navy thwarts suspected oil bunkerers’ effort to steal petrol

Nigerian Navy thwarts suspected oil bunkerers’ effort to steal petrol

By Matthew Atungwu

The Nigerian Navy has thwarted an attempt of an eight-person gang to breach a pipeline and steal petroleum products in Apapa, Lagos.

Consequently, the suspects’ functional wooden boat with more than 300 drums, pumping mechanisms, and additional equipment was found.

The arrest was made in the early hours of Wednesday when they were on their route to siphon the commodity, according to Commander, NNS Beecroft, Commodore Kolawole Oguntuga, who made the revelation at the Base Command.

Attributing the arrest to the swift and proactive response to stall activities of economic saboteurs, he explained that ” the NNS BEECROFT patrol team vectored by the state-of-the-art Maritime Domain Awareness Facility, the Falcone Eye Alignment, intercepted a large wooden boat at about 2.30 am on October 25, 2023, within Lagos anchorage.

Read Also: Military thwarts N1.2bn crude oil theft as production raises –DHQ

“This wooden boat laden with eight crew, over 300 drums, pumping machines, and other equipment was prevented from getting to its destination to perpetrate illegal bunkering, which could have robbed the nation of huge quantity of products for consumption by Nigerians.

“The timely interception by the patrol team is also commendable, as it prevented disaster associated with illegal handling of these inflatable petroleum products by unscrupulous elements.

“The proactive response initiated by the patrol team further reveals the Nigerian Navy’s unwavering commitment under the leadership of the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla, towards safeguarding vital resources as well as effective safety of life and property particularly within the maritime domain”

While handing the suspects whose identities he gave as Merrs Selafei Tito, Seba Hunton,  Etieni Abibu, Ahousansou Lawlent, Oke Job, Abel Yede, Matiye Husa, and Husa Hungha, over to the Nigeria Security and Civil Corps, NSCDC, Commodore Oguntuga, said the Corps would further investigate   and prosecute them, adding that ” This would further send a strong message that the Nigerian Navy remains resolute at effective ocean governance by ensuring the full weight of the law is meted on perpetrators of maritime crimes, which is necessary to sustain economic prosperity of the nation”

He said the probe would also reveal the motivations of the accused and identify potential sponsors.

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