The Forward Operating Base of the Nigerian Navy in Igbokoda, headquarters of the Ilaje Local Government of Ondo State, has arrested 24 suspects with 100,000 litres of illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil, also known as diesel, in the Ondo/Lagos coastal area.
It was gathered that the patrol team of the naval base intercepted six boats, which were conveying the suspects and the product.
The Commanding Officer of the naval base, Navy Captain Shaibu Ahmed, said the six boats were owned by bunkerers.
According to him, one of the boats contained 150 drums of illegally refined diesel, while another wooden boat contained 16 tanks of 4,500 litres of diesel.
He said, “In order to effectively curb illegal oil bunkering, sea piracy, kidnapping and other criminal activities in the Ilaje and Ese-Odo local government areas of Ondo State, the Forward Operating Base of the Nigerian Navy in Igbokoda instituted a continuous surveillance in the creeks and coastal areas.
“This effort yielded a positive result with the latest operation carried out along the Ondo/Lagos coastal area.”
Some of the suspects said their boats were hired by the bunkerers, while some admitted their involvement in the illegal business.
The commanding officer urged residents of the community to give the base meaningful information that could assist in curbing all forms of economic sabotage in the area.
“The operation base will continue to work in line with its mandate of ensuring a secured maritime environment,” Ahmed declared.