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Navy Arrests 50 Pipeline Vandals, Recovers 6,000 Gallons of Stolen Crude at ikorodu lagos

The Western Naval Command (WNC) of the
Nigerian Navy (NN) has arrested no fewer than 50
suspected pipeline vandals in an ongoing major
operation at Majidun, Ikorodu area of Lagos
This is in addition to their recovery of about 6,000
gallons of stolen products siphoned from several
vandalised Nigerian National Petroleum
Corporation (NNPC) pipelines.
The naval taskforce had discovered the stolen
products stored in 25 and 50 litre kegs, which
were covered with leaves and hidden in the belly
of the swamp as well as in some houses of the
residents living in the area.
The products, suspected to be Premium Motor
Spirit (PMS), also called petrol, which were carted
away to the jetty of the WNC, Apapa, in 10 long
trucks were estimated to be worth over
Code-named Operation Awatse, an Hausa word
for ‘scatter’, the ongoing operation saw military
personnel drawn from the NN and the Nigerian
Army (NA), storm the riverine community in a bid
to sanitise it and arrest the prolonged economic
sabotage that had been going on around the
Addressing newsmen afterwards, the Flag Officer
Commanding, Western Naval Command, Rear
Admiral Samuel Alade said the suspects were in
custody but would not be paraded so as not to
jeopardise investigations.
He said the ongoing raid was in tandem with the
determination of the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS),
Vice Admiral Usman Jibrin’s zero to halt illegal
bunkering and pipeline vandalism.
He said, “The operation was planned sequel to
directives by the CNS last week. It has yielded
successes so far and many arrests have been
“Also, products and wooden boats popularly
called Cotonou boats were intercepted and
destroyed by our personnel.
“The products would be handed over to the PPMC
and the arrested suspects would also be handed
over to concerned authorities that would
prosecute them.
“At the end of the operation, the Nigerian Navy
may consider establishing a Naval base so that we
can sustain the gains recorded.
“I want to warn the perpetrators to seek
legitimate employment instead of living on
illegalities. I must emphasise that the CNS has
zero tolerance to any form of illegalities within
the maritime space.
“I would want to appeal to the general public to
provide useful information that would help us
sustain this fight. We really need cooperation
from members of the public. There is need for
residents around Majidun, Arepo and Ogolonto to
provide us with information.”
On the allegation that some of the oil thieves
have the support of some traditional rulers in the
area and some officials of the NNPC, Alade said
they were not aware of that, adding that ongoing
intelligence gathering would reveal the brains
behind the ignoble act.
The petroleum products were afterwards handed
over to the NNPC Area manager in charge of
Mosinmi Depot, Mr. Remi Eluyefa by the
commander of operation, Commodore Tekumo
Okoli, who also doubles as the Commander,
Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Beecroft.
Eluyefa while fielding questions from journalists,
commended the navy for the major breakthrough
it recorded in helping them tackle the huge
economic sabotage and loss of products.
He said, “We are not security personnel so we
have always depended on security agencies to
provide security on their pipelines. The security of
the pipelines is not the work of NNPC.
“We depend on security agencies to provide us
with security because most of us are engineers
who do not know much about security. We are
glad that the navy has delivered”, he said.
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