By Philip Nwosu
Over 30,000 litres of petrol allegedly stolen from a broken pipeline in the Atlas Cove, Lagos have been recovered by operatives of the Nigerian Navy.
The pipeline was supposed to be protected by a local security outfit, using members of the OPC, but the security company allegedly decided to help itself, puncturing pipeline and siphoning petroleum products.
The petroleum products were imported fuel by the NNPC but have been hijacked by the local security outfit assigned to protect the products.
Sunnewsonline learnt the operatives of the Nigerian Navy acting on information, stormed the place where the security outfit was supposed to safeguard and recovered thousand of 25 litres plastic cans filled with petrol preparatory to transporting them to Benin Republic.
On sighting the naval operatives, the local security outfit opened fire on them, which the Navy had to repel.
The continuous shooting it was gathered jolted the villagers who ran for cover.
No lives were lost in the shooting which lasted for hours, but the naval operatives succeeded in over powering the fuel thieves.
Speaking on the incident, the Commander NNS Beecroft, Rear Admiral Maurice Eno said the operatives from the naval base received intelligence indicating that vandals and thieves were operating around Ilado, Ilashe, Corner loss, Sarkin Juju and Idimangoro area.
He said: “Accordingly, the base monitored the activities around the area for about three weeks to ascertain the veracity of the information.
“Consequently, On December 14, at the about 8.10 am, a detachment of personnel from the Nigerian Navy Ship Beecroft raided the locations and discovered a storage facility having over 1500 plastic storage cans.
“One thousand three hundred and thirty of the jerry cans contained product suspected to be Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) believed to have been siphoned from the NNPC pipelines laid on the island. At the time of the raid, no person was found on the storage facility, accordingly the product was evacuated from the storage facility to NNS Beecrpfy for safe custody.
Admiral Eno said that the team also discovered at the siphoning point, valves connected by the vandals to enable them steal the product.