…recovers 3,181 jerricans, eight vehicles
By Evelyn Usman
Operatives of the Nigerian Navy Ship, NNS Beecroft, under the Western Naval Command of the Nigerian Navy, Apapa Lagos, have uncovered an Island in Akaraba and Takwa Bay communities in Atlas Cove, Lagos, where vandals used as warehouse to store siphoned petroleum products from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation pipelines.
Recovered from the makeshift warehouses, were 3,181 25 litres jerricans and about 20 drums filled with the siphoned products, which were awaiting movement to the high sea, from where they would be exported outside the country.
The product, was valued at N11. 5 million. There were also over 2000 empty 25 litres jerricans. However, no arrest was made.
The Commander NNS Beecroft, Commodore Ibrahim Shettima, who led journalists to the Island for the hand over of the recovered product to officials of the NNPC, disclosed that the product were sourced from several vandalized points on the NNPC pipeline.
He explained that the recovery was made during raids at Akaraba areas, by NNS Beecoft patrol team deployed to Atlas Cove Island, on July 4, 2019.
He said: “ The discovery of such large quantity of PMS is as a result of the Navy aggressive patrols which has denied vandals the freedom of action.
The essence of them having their storage place close to the anchorage, on the high sea, is to enable them take the stolen products into their boats, before heading to their destinations. But because of the dominance presence of the Navy here, they delayed the movement”.
Vanguard observed that that the filled jerricans which had different inscriptions to indicate their owners, were neatly arranged in the two warehouses visited, indicating that the vandals would have taken their time to carry out the illegal activities. This was inspite of the nearness of a security post to one of the warehouses. The Post is manned by private guards from Pentagon security, hired by the NNPC to keep watch of its pipelines.
But Commodore Shettima, who reiterated the determination of the Navy to rid the nation’s waterways of all forms of criminalities, said that NNS Beecroft would continue to assist the NNPC and other agencies of government to deal with the menace of pipeline vandals and crude oil theft.