Navy Intercepts Pipeline Vandals, Hands over Seized Boats, 1,566 Kegs to NSCDC

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 Chiemelie Ezeobi

A pipeline vandalism syndicate was thursday captured by personnel of the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS), Beecroft, at Jegeme, a village located along the Badagry/Benin Republic route.

Although the criminals jumped ship and fled on sighting the naval personnel, they left behind their cargoes which include the four boats they were on, 972 drums and 594 Jerry cans, allegedly used for pipeline vandalism.

 Also seized by the navy were three pumping machines, three coils of rubber hoses as well as 14 outboard engines.

 Handing over the exhibits to the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), the Commander of NNS Beecroft, Commodore Maurice Eno, said their actions were part of the navy’s commitment towards securing the waterways for legitimate businesses.

 At the handover which took place at NNS Beecroft base in Apapa, Lagos, Eno  said the handover signals the end of navy’s preliminary investigation as the onus now lies on the NSCDC to identify the owners of the boat.

 He also said they have cogent intelligence that there are other collaborators that indulge in pipeline vandalism and oil theft.

The commander said: “Our naval personnel arrested four boats at the sea along Badagry/Benin Republic route in a village called Jegeme for alleged involvement in pipeline vandalism.

 “A team from our Forward Operating Base (FOB) in Badagry first sighted the boat at anchorage ready for illegal act and assistance was subsequently sought from NNS Beecroft to effect arrest.”

“Accordingly, patrol boats were deployed from the base to arrest and tow the boats to the base. However, the owners of the boats escaped on sighting the naval team.

 “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.

“I advise well-meaning Nigerians to give useful information to the navy on all forms of criminality going on in their area. The navy will continue to hunt the economic saboteurs and enemies of the nation.”