A patrol team of the Nigerian Navy Ship Victory in Calabar, Cross River State, has intercepted 204 drums of diesel being smuggled to Cameroon.
The team also arrested four suspects in connection with the seizure.
The suspects are Asuquo Okon, Unwana Nkereuwem, Ndundu Entom and Victor Effiok.
Handing over the petroleum product and the suspects, the Commander, NNS Victory, Rear Admiral Vincent Okeke, who was represented by Navy Captain Ibrahim Gwaska, said, “On Friday, March 13, 2020, around 9.30am, the NNS Victory patrol team on routine patrol intercepted and seized a wooden boat laden with substances suspected to be illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil at the Calabar River entrance on its way to the Republic of Cameroon.
“The boat was seized with four crew members on board. The boat, the crew and the impounded product were escorted to the base. On arrival at the base jetty, 204 drums of AGO were offloaded from the wooden boat.
“Investigation revealed that the suspected illegally refined AGO was loaded from the Ijaw Creek around the Bonny Island, Rivers State, and was heading for Wovia in Cameroon.”
Okeke added that on the same date and location another boat laden with 105 drums of AGO was seized.
He said, “However, the suspects absconded on sighting the base’s gunboats. Prior to this, on March 4, 2020, the base’s patrol team arrested three suspects and confiscated 54 drums of illegally refined PMS in a wooden boat at Agbana West Point by the Tom Shot Island breakwaters.
“These were handed over to the state Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps by Capt. I. A. Gwaska around 1.30pm on Friday, March 6, 2020, on behalf of the Commander, NNS Victory, Rear Admiral Vincent Okeke. Similarly, on Saturday, March 7, 2020, a wooden boat laden with 42 bags of rice was confiscated. The total market value of the seized items is N22m.”
He warned would-be criminals to desist from illegal acts and engage in legitimate business or face the wrath of the law.
The state Commandant of the NSCDC, Danladi Elisha, received the petroleum product and the suspects and promised to diligently prosecute the matter.