In the course of carrying out its statutory responsibility of protecting the nation’s maritime domain, the Nigerian Navy (NN), has curbed illegal bunkering with the operations and exercises being conducted by the Western Naval Command (WNC), Lagos.
The Fleet Commander Western, Headquarters Western Fleet, Rear Admiral, Danjuma Moses told journalists recently that the recent operation, Okun Alaafia II, was flagged off last month, by the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Western Naval Command (WNC), Rear Admiral Oladele Daji, on board NNS Aradu, at the Naval Base, Apapa.
Admiral Moses said that the operation interpreted from the Yoruba language to mean, ‘Calm Waters II’, “has made several arrests and handed over suspects committing illegal bunkering at sea, to the relevant law enforcement agencies for prosecution.”
He said that the ongoing operation, “was carried out in order to sustain the gains of previous operations and exercises the command had conducted.”
Some of the operations and exercises included, “Operation Junction Rain”, “Exercise Swift Response”, “Exercise Okun Alaafia I” and “Exercise Treasure guard II.”
According to him: “The exercises and operations had resulted in the several arrests and handover of suspects/platforms, used in committing illegalities to relevant law enforcement agencies for prosecution.”
The Admiral said: “One of the successes was the arrest of two vessels, ‘Mother Comfort’ and ‘Sea Supply’ by the NNS Ose, supported by the Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA), facility.
“‘Mother Comfort’ was arrested at 50 nautical mile off Badagry waters for its alleged offence of illegal bunkering, expired naval permit, port of registration, Lagos while its destination was unknown.
“The nationality of the crew included 12 Nigerians and the Cargo 240 metric tonnes (MT).”
Other arrests by the Command, he said, included four suspects as well as 8×50 litres of Petrol Motor Spirit (PMS), filled up Jerry Cans, several other empty Jerry cans and other accessories for siphoning of PMS, at various locations along the Atlas Cove, Ijegun NNPC pipeline.
He, however, pleaded with members of the public to freely divulge credible information to units in their localities to enable it get rid of all forms of criminality.