Men of the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Victory in Calabar, Cross River State, have seized 100, 000 litres of illegally refined automotive gas oil (AGO) popularly known as diesel, as well as arrested eight suspects.
Commander of NNS Victory, Commodore Julius Nwagu, said the arrests were made along the Calabar Channel, when they got intelligence reports about the activities of the suspects, believed to be coming from Rivers State.
Parading the suspects and seized items, which also included a large wooden boat, known as Cotonou Boat, at the NNS Victory jetty before handing over to the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), Nwagu said the Navy will always be a step ahead of those perpetrating criminalities in the country’s maritime domain.
He said the seized items were worth over N23 million.
He said, “We all know the consequences of people taking the laws into their hands to sabotage the efforts of the government and the efforts the Nigeria navy is putting to ensuring that the perpetuators of this illegal activities are brought to book. I am here to and over the suspects, the cargo and the Cotonou boats to the NSCDC to take over them in accordance with the extant regulations.
“We are ever ready any time to go after criminals. If they do not want to hear and continue to perpetrate in this trade, we are here to collect it from them and arrest them. The Nigerian Navy is a step ahead. Our maritime domain awareness is up and running. There is no hiding place for perpetrators. Once you commit your resources to illegal and contraband products, and you want to pass them through our maritime domain, be rest assured we are going to catch you. Any attempt they make, the Nigerian Navy is a step ahead.”
Commandant Stephen Lar in charge of NSCDC, Cross River State Command, who received the suspects and items, appreciated Navy for the synergy in fighting criminality.
He said they would carry out further investigations and then prosecute the suspects.
He said if they are convicted, the items would be forfeited to the Federal Government.