|By Sandra Chukwunyere|
It was the end of the road for sea robbers who specialize in
committing atrocities and all for m of criminalities on our waters as
they were nabbed by men and officers of the Nigerian Navy recently.These sea maludders who are into these various evil deals on our
high seas came again recently to perpetrate the nefarious and
shoddy operations. But they were not successful as they were
According to Commodore I.A. Shettima, the commandant of Nigeria, they have been on the illicit business of stealing petroleum products and from the Atlas Cove Island.Recall that Atlast Cove accommodates a Nigerian National Petroleum Cooperation (NNPC) storage facility,
which is operated and managed by the Pipelines and Product Marketing Company (PPMC) a subsidiary of NNPC. Maritime Security News findings reveal that the facility is designed as a transit depot to
supply refined product to other NNPC depots at Mosimi, Ore, Ibadan and Shagamu areas.However, over time, the facility was said to
have been threatened by activities of pipeline vandals.
But in the process of trying to curtail the excesses of these intruders, the Nigeria Navy steps up its action against these vandals.
”In a strive to check mate this ugly trend, the base heightened patrols on the island and its waterfront. These patrols led to three arrests between 10 and 12 May 2019.”In a statement by the commander, he noted that:
”On Friday,May 10, 2019 at about 0200, a patrol team deployed on the Atlas Cove Island discovered two trucks containing about 200 x 25 Liter Plastic Cans around Akaraba area on the Atlas Cove Island.”
Narrating what actually happened, he said: ”Although, no suspects were found at the scene, it is believed that the plastic cans were prepared for usage in storing illegally siphoned PMS from the NNPC pipelines. In a separate incidence on the same day, at about 0500, the patrol team also discovered another 5 trucks conveying about 70 x 25
Liter plastic cans around Abule Glass area on the Atlas Cove
“He continued: ”It is opined that the vehicles were kept in preparation for the movement of stolen product from the NNPC pipelines. Accordingly, the vehicles and exhibits are in own custody and would be handled over to prosecuting agencies”Another seizure was made by the patrol team:
”On May 12, 2019 at about 1800, a naval boat on routine patrol along Nigeria – Benin Republic boarder intercepted two boats conveying a total of 85 x 250 Liter drums and another 150 X 25 Liter plastic cans suspected to be containing Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) believed to have been stolen from NNPC pipeline laid on the Atlas Cove Island.
As at the time of the interception, the two boats had a total of nine
crew members comprising of One Nigerian, one Ghanaian and seven Beninoise.”Investigation into the matter is ongoing with the view to unraveling their local collaborators.”Elaborating more on the illegalities going on our territorial waters, how it is being carries out as
well those perpetrating these evil, the commander of Nigeria Navy Ship BEECROFT, Shettima, said: ”The act of illegally trading in petroleum product around the Atlas Cove Island is unfortunate. Most of these illegalities are perpetuated with the collaboration and assistance of some unpatriotic Nigerians”He promised these criminals hell as he stated that Nigeria Navy is awake: ”’It is worthy of note that the Nigerian Navy under the leadership of the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral IE Ibas is determined to rid our waterways and its connected creeks of all forms of criminality”On now ready and the level of preparedness to curb the ugly going on in our waters, he said: ”The Nigerian Navy Ship BEECROFT is therefore committed to assisting Nigerian National Petroleum Cooperation (NNPC) deal with the issue of petroleum product theft. The Nigerian Navy therefore uses this medium to warn oil thieves and other criminal elements particularly in our maritime environment to desist from these nefarious activities and pursue lawful means of livelihood”On the danger of heir refusal to desist from such dirty operations, he said: ”Otherwise, they will surely be brought to justice”The Nigeria Navy therefore called on the general public to assist the security personnel in curbing this evil as provision of security is a task that meant for all and sundry, by providing useful information to that would aid the arrest of this trend:’, ”I wish to advise all well-meaning citizens of the Country to dissociate from illegality and give useful information to the Nigerian Navy or other security agencies on all forms of criminalities in their areas. The Nigerian Navy is ever focused and would continue to hunt these criminal elements” he added.