The Nigerian Navy has intercepted four trucks laden with Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) popularly called Petrol at Baruwa, Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State.
A joint operations of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and the Navy successfully dislodged the suspected vandals who invaded the petroleum pipelines in the community.
The Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Jason Gbassa while addressing the press attributed the success to the information/ intelligence gathered.
“The striking thing is that within a built up area like this for people to have the effontry to carryout illegal acts against the mandate of Operation Awatse so we took the time to come in here to effect this arrest.” he said.
Gbassa said that unfortunately no arrest were made as the culprits absconded when the Naval Officers were approaching but left their trucks and appliances behind.
He added that the four trucks will be moved back to base as further investigations and handing over to the appropriate agencies will be carried out.
“You will recall that some weeks ago, four people who were involved in similar incidence and were sentenced and handed over to the Nigerian Correctional Service.
“Similarly we will ensure to follow up on this same case to see to it that we conclude effectively to make sure that the trucks are forfeited to the federal government.
“On our part, we will continue to pursue the perpetrators inorder to know those who are behind the sponsorship of these illegal acts and see to the end of such acts sabotaging our economy.
The FOC said it takes technical skills and enormous resources to muster the kind of operation adding that it appeared like a syndicated activity.
“We will do our best to make sure it doesn’t take place here again and other places we have identified.
“If we put together this four trucks which has a capacity of about over 90,000 litres multiplied against N165 you will going into the range of about N15 million for just one night’s operation for a group of people to reap the nation of such commodity free without any direct investment on it, denying the nation.” he said.
Gbassa said the criminal act has tremendous impact on the economy and the people of Nigeria as it invariably impacts on the availability of the products to the economy and to the immediate environment which is a built up area where people reside.
“The fumes from this activity alone is a threat to their health and even to the environment.
“I thank the people of this community because they were the ones who provided the intelligence and i appreciate other security agencies who collaborated with us in carrying out this activity.
“I urge them that we continue in this collaboration and synergy in going forward that the collaboration will get better and we will get more results in the pursuit of perpetrators of such crimes.” he said.
Confirming the development, NSCDC Commandant, Lagos State Command, Eweka Douglas Okoro, warned vandals to stay clear as the corps has been repositioned for better performance to protect government physical infrastructures.
“These vehicles are purported vandalised vehicles used to vandalise the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) trucks on the right of way. They were caught at exactly 2:00 am this morning by our eagle-eyed officers in conjunction with the Navy,” Eweka said.
Eweka added that the culprits were caught in the act as one of the trucks was fully loaded.
“The other three are empty. Upon sighting our men, they all ran away and escaped.” he added.