By OKOSUN DENNIS
In its continued efforts to deal with pipeline vandals and eliminate criminal elements in the maritime domain, the Nigerian Navy on Thursday handed over four seized boats, 972 empty drums and 594 empty jerry cans to the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps in Lagos.
The boats were intercepted by personnel of the Navy Forward Operating Base (FOB) about 5pm on April 17, 2017.
The vandals were arrested by naval personnel along Badagry/Benin Republic route in a village called jegeme for alleged involvement in pipeline vandalism.
The Commander, Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) BEECROFT, Commodore Maurice Eno, while handing the items to the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, Commandant, Tajudeen Balogun at Apapa, said a team from the Navy Forward Operating Base in Badagry first sighted the boat at anchorage poised for illegal act.
He reiterated it’s commitment to continually secure the waterways for legitimate businesses and vowed to deal with unrepentant criminals.
Cdre Eno further explained that “We have cogent intelligence that there are other collaborators that indulge in pipeline vandalism and oil theft.
“The navy, therefore, uses this medium to warn pipeline vandals and other criminal elements particularly in our maritime environment to turn a new leaf and pursue legal means of livelihood, otherwise, the law will catch up on them.
“The navy will continue to hunt the economic saboteurs and enemies of the nation.
He pointed out that soon after sighting them, the FOB personnel sought for assistance from NNS Beecroft to effect arrest.
National Daily learnt as a result of the deployment of some boats, the owners escaped and their boats were seized and towed to the base.
Cdre Eno added, “As at the time of the arrest, the boats were carrying 972 drums and 594 empty Jerry cans. There were also three pumping machines, three coils of rubber hoses as well as 14 outboard engines onboard the boats,” he said.
Eno reiterated that the navy under the leadership of the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Adm. Ibok-Ete Ibas had declared zero tolerance for pipeline vandalism and oil theft.
Receiving the boats, the commandant, NSCDC, Tajudeen Balogun said investigation would
commence, while warning oil thieves to desist from illegality and find legitimate businesses to do.