Operatives of the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) BEECROFT have uncovered 3,181 25 litre kegs laden with Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) suspected to have been vandalised from Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s (NNPC) pipelines at Akaraba Island.
The kegs which were discovered during a raid of the island by naval operatives on July 4, were said to have been concealed in makeshift structures built about 200 metres away from Inegbe Resort.
Leading reporters to the island where the kegs were handed over to the NNPC, Commander NNS BEECROFT Commodore Ibrahim Shettima said the products were valued at about N11.5 million.
He said: “On Thursday, July 4, at about 4pm, patrol team deployed at Atlas Cove Island conducted raids at Akaraba area based on available intelligence. The team discovered 3,181 of 25 litres jerry cans with products suspected to be PMS valued at about N11,500,000.
“It was further discovered that the products were sourced from several vandalised points on the NNPC pipeline on the Atlas Cove Island. The discovery of such large quantity of PMS is as a result of the navy’s aggressive patrols which has denied them the freedom of action.
“The Nigerian Navy under the leadership of the Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS) Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas is determined to rid our waterways of all forms of criminality. The NNS BEECROFT is therefore committed to assisting NNPC and other agencies of government in dealing with the issue of pipeline vandalism and crude oil theft.
“The Nigerian Navy uses this medium to warn pipeline vandals/thieves and other criminal elements, particularly in our maritime environment to desist from nefarious activities and pursue lawful means of livelihood. Otherwise, they will surely be brought to justice.
“I advise 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 going on in their areas. The Nigerian Navy is ever focused and would continue to hunt these criminal elements and enemies of the nation.”
On the next line of action, Commodore Shettima said the navy would await the evacuation of the products by
NNPC within a time frame before destroying all illegal structures on the island.
He said the kegs would have been destroyed and set ablaze but for the fact that the general area had
combustible materials and would not encourage burning.
“We have about a thousand jerricans of the PMS here in Takwa Bay which were evacuated from Akaraba, while the ones you saw earlier are 2,181. The total is 3,181. At first, our men thought it was something they could evacuate but you have seen the difficulty of the terrain and the quantity of kegs.