Navy intercepts over 100,000 litres of diesel, arrests 24 suspects in Ondo

Men of the Forward Operating Base (FOB) of the Nigerian Navy in Igbokoda, Ondo State, have arrested 24 suspected oil thieves along the coastal axis of the Ilaje Local Government Area of the state.

The Commanding Officer, FOB, Navy Capt. Shuaibu Muhammed-Ahmed, who disclosed this to newsmen said the suspected oil thieves were arrested with over 100,000 litres of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) known as diesel.

According to him, the men were arrested during a routine patrol by the Navy officers on the Ondo-Lagos open sea channel around 4pm on Wednesday, January 13, 2021.

Speaking while parading the suspects in Igbokoda, Muhammed-Ahmed explained the Navy men intercepted six boats loaded with over 100,000 litres of diesel along Ondo/Lagos coastal axis.

He disclosed that some of the items seized from the suspects include one fibre boat containing 150 drums of 250 litres capacity each of products suspected to be illegally refined diesel, one pumping machine, 90 Horse Power (HP) and 80HP Yamaha outboard engines respectively.

The Navy officials also seized one Cotonou wooden boat containing 16 GP tanks of 4,500 litres of products suspected to be illegally refined diesel, two empty GP tanks, five pumping machines and two 115HP and one 85HP outboard engines.

Others include one blue Cotonou fibre boat containing 120 empty drums of 200 litres capacity each, one pumping machine, two 75HP Yamaha outboard engines and two speed-boats with 80HP and 75HP Yamaha outboard engines.

Muhammed-Ahmed said that the arrest was in fulfilment of the Navy’s mandate to combat all forms of illegalities in the maritime environment.

He said: “The FOB has been professionally carrying out its constitutional responsibilities since inception in efforts to secure and curb all forms of illegalities such as illegal bunkering, piracy, sea robbery and kidnapping within Ilaje and Ese-Odo LGAs.

“On this note, I am appealing to the general public, especially the communities where we operate, that security of lives and property is no longer one-man business.

“Therefore all hands must be on deck because the military or security agencies cannot do it alone, the communities are requested to provide the base with meaningful information to curb all forms of economic sabotage.”

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