The Nigerian Navy yesterday said it has arrested nine foreign nationals alongside two boats and seven trucks for allegedly stealing Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) around the Atlas Cove area of Lagos State.
The Commander, Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) BEECROFT, Commodore Ibrahim Shettima who disclosed this to Journalists yesterday at the command in Apapa, Lagos said the arrests of the products, suspects, boats and the trucks took place between May 10 and 12 at Atlas Cove Island and Nigeria-Benin Republic Border.
According to him, on May 10 at about 02:00, a patrol team deployed on the Atlas Cove Island discovered two trucks containing about 200 x 25 Liter 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 05:00, the patrol team also discovered another five trucks conveying about 70 x 25 Litres 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, “he said.
The Commander added that two boats and foreign nationals were also arrested by naval men on routine patrol along the Nigeria-Benin Border.
“On May 12 at about 18:00, a naval boat on routine patrol along Nigeria-Benin Republic border intercepted 2 boats conveying a total of 85 x 250 Litre drums and another 150 X 25 Litres of 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 unravelling their local collaborators and accordingly, the vehicles and exhibits are in our custody and would be handed over to prosecuting agencies,” he said.
Shettima said the Atlas Cove Island accommodated 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 check mate this ugly trend, the base heightened patrols on the island and its waterfront,” he said.
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