SAN FRANCISCO, May 15, (THEWILL) – The Nigerian Navy has arrested nine foreign nationals alongside two boats and seven trucks over alleged stolen Petrol Motor Spirit (PMS) at the Atlas Cove area of Lagos.
Atlas Cove Island accommodates a storage facility of the NNPC which is operated and managed by the Pipelines and Product Marketing Company (PPMC) a subsidiary of NNPC.
The facility is designed as a transit depot to supply refined product to other NNPC depots at Mosimi, Ore, Ibadan and Shagamu areas.
The Commander, Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) BEECROFT, Commodore Ibrahim Shettima, while briefing reporters, said the arrest of the products, suspects, boats and the trucks happened between May 10 and 12 at Atlas Cove Island and Nigeria-Benin Republic Border .
“On May 10 at about 2am, a patrol team deployed on the Atlas Cove Island discovered two trucks containing about 200 x 25 Litre Plastic Cans around Akaraba area on the Atlas Cove Island,” 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 Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) pipelines.
“In a separate incident on the same day, at about 5am, the patrol team also discovered another five trucks conveying about 70 x 25 Litre plastic cans around Abule Glass area on the Atlas Cove Island.
“It is opined that the vehicles were kept in preparation for the movement of stolen product from the NNPC pipelines.”
The Commander added that two boats and foreign nationals were also arrested by naval men on routine patrol along the Nigeria-Benin Boarder.
“On May 12 around 6pm, a naval boat on routine patrol along Nigeria-Benin Republic boarder intercepted two boats conveying a total of 85 x 250 Litre drums and another 150 X 25 Litre plastic cans suspected to be containing Premium Motor Spirit (PMS). This is believed to have been stolen from NNPC pipeline laid on the Atlas Cove Island.
“As at the time of the intercept, the two boats had a total of nine crew members comprising of one Ghanaian and eight Beninoise.
“Investigation into the matter is ongoing with the view to unravelling their local collaborators and accordingly, the vehicles and exhibits are in own custody and would be handed over to prosecuting agencies,” he said.