By OKOSUN DENNIS
As the crackdown on illegal vandalism of pipeline continues, the Nigerian Navy has intercepted three wooden boats conveying over 50, 000 litres of petrol (PMS).
The seizure of the products was made possible by naval officers at Tongeji Island in Badagry about 12:25am on the 20th May, 2016.
Although no suspect was arrested as they were said to have abandoned the boats on sighting naval personnel and sworn to safety, the Commanding Officer, NNS Beecroft, Commodore Abraham Adaji said the force would go against the vandals until they are completely eliminated.
Over 2000 jerry cans of 25 litres capacity were carefully arranged in the Cotonu made wooden boat and were sailing on the fringes of Nigeria towards the Republic of Benin.
Also recovered were four outboard engine used by the vandals. When asked the source of the product, Commodore Adaji said “it was still premature to say where exactly the product was stolen from as they are still carrying out investigation but added that since the arrest was made within the Nigerian waters, it is likely it was stolen from local consumption.
He said, “They were actually moving but when they saw our men, they jumped into the waters. Our men stationed in Badagry made the arrest. They have no basis to be conveying these quantity of product the way they did.
“We are intensifying our efforts to stop illegal vandalism and crude oil theft.
On why the frequency of petroleum theft and arrest is on the increase within the Nigeria and Republic of Benin axis, Commodore Adaji explained that the price differential between the two countries might have orchestrated that but the force would ensure every theft of petroleum product is stopped.
It would be recalled that the Nigerian Navy had on Friday handed over 218 jerry cans of 25 litres capacity and four suspects to the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).