The Nigerian Navy Ship Victory, NNS, has impounded 144 drums of petroleum products worth N15,504,000.00 in the Eastern Naval Command area of operation.
Rear Admiral Vincent Okeke, the Commander of NNS Victory, disclosed this while handing over 4 suspects, a wooden boat and the 144 drums of illegally refined Automotive Gasoline Oil, AGO to the commandant, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corp, NSCDC, Danladi Elisha.
Okeke, who was represented by Captain Muhammed Umaru said, “on Friday, 27 December 2019, NNS Victory team on routine patrol intercepted a wooded boat laden with 144 drums of petroleum products suspected to be illegally refined AGO around Agbana West by Tom Shot Island Breakwaters”.
“When the boat crew and the impounded products were escorted to the base, a total of 144 drums off illegally refined AGO were offloaded. On investigation, we illegal product was loaded from Bile Creek in Rivers State. The boat was destined for Cameroon before the arrest,” stated Okeke.
Umaru estimated the market price of the 144 impounded drums of the illegal diesel at N15,504,000.
The Commander further hinted that NNS Victory had seized contraband valued at over two hundred million naira, approximately N236,236,000.00, within the last eight weeks.
According to Okeke, “NNS Victory is well aware of the desperations of smugglers to bring contrabands into the country within this period of Christmas and New Year festivities for personal economic gains. This is indicated by the fact that within the last eight weeks, the base had recorded nine major arrests of contraband items worth over N236, 236,000.00”.
He stated that due to the heightened rate of smuggling, the command has increased patrols within the maritime domain.
“The base has intensified patrols to curb the heightened rate of smuggling and any other nefarious crimes on water and adjoining land areas,” said Okeke.
Receiving the suspects and items, Danladi Elisha of the NSCDC gave assurance of the corps commitment to conduct proper investigations and charge the four suspected smugglers to court and present the impounded products as evidence.