Yemisi Izuora/Ijeoma Agudosi
The Nigerian Navy, Western Naval Command (WNC) has arrested five citizens of Benin Republic and four others for maritime illegalities, for crude oil theft and pipeline vandalisation.
Three of the suspects were arrested outside the Lagos waters, the others including the five Beninoise were arrested when they were intercepted by naval personnel.
Commanding Officer (CO), Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Beecroft, Commodore Tekumo Ikoli, said the suspects were arrested at different times and places, adding that the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Ikot-Abasi, intercepted a Cotonou wooden boat carrying a large number of drums with six men.
“Preliminary investigations revealed that the six men were allegedly involved in illegal activities, including one Mr. Francis Olusegun, who claimed to be the owner of the suspected stolen products.
“The other five persons claimed to be from Benin Republic. Further investigations revealed that there were a total of 78 drums of 250 litres capacity each in the boat.
“Of which 68 of such drums were laden with petroleum products suspected to be Automated Gasoline Oil (AGO), while the other 10 drums were discovered to be empty.
“The six suspects together with their boat and other exhibits are being handed over to the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).”