Navy arrests 199 suspected cultists, armed robbers

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Navy arrests 199 suspected cultists, armed robbers

By Dapo Olawuni     |      

The Western Naval Command of the Nigerian Navy has said that it arrested 199 suspected cultists, armed robbers and other criminals between April till October 2019.

The command also recovered items including an estimated quantity  of 124,250 litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) illegally siphoned from vandalized Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) pipelines. The products are valued at N149,686,000.00

In a release sent to our correspondent by the spokesman of the command, Lieutenant Otuji, the Flag Officer Commanding of Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Oladele Daji had disclosed these achievements to his guests as a recent dinner and award night held in honor of some officers.

Daji disclosed that the command through its personnel deployed in Op AWATSE, made significant strides in containing illegal bunkering, pipeline vandalism, cultism and other crimes in parts of Lagos and Ogun States.

He added that several suspects were arrested and handed over to relevant prosecuting agencies, while vehicles and large volumes of petroleum products were recovered during the period in focus.

“It is gratifying to state that during the period under review, the Maritime Component arrested 30 suspected pipeline vandals, 3 tankers, one trailer, 1 trucks and 9 other vehicles”

“Also arrested were 12 wooden boats, which were destroyed in situ. The recovered items including an estimated quantity  of 124,250 litres of PMS illegally siphoned from vandalized Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) pipelines are valued at N149,686,000.00. Furthermore, a total of 199 suspected cultists, armed robbers and other criminals were arrested within the period”

“Participation in Local and International Exercises. The Command was actively involved in all NN exercises, including joint and combined exercises with sister services and foreign navies/coast guards during the period under review”

“The Command hosted the EX OBANGAME EXPRESS 2019, OP JUNCTION RAIN, EX OKUN AILEWU (WNC Second Quarter Simulation Exercise 2019)  OP OKUN ALAFIA AND EX ATAGUN ALAAFIA”

“Participation in the aforementioned exercises and operations ensured that the Western Fleet remained at a high state of operational readiness and also provided veritable platforms for capacity building and strengthening collaborative efforts with international navies/coast guards”

The naval boss also noted that the Command hosted some diplomatic engagements during the period under review. Some of them were the successful hosting of the Pakistan Chief of Naval Staff on 28 Apr 19, French Ambassador to Nigeria on 28 Jun 19 and Deputy Chief of Strategy, Resources and Plans US Naval Forces Europe/Africa/US Sixth Fleet.

“The visits boosted the NN’s standing as a highly professional force. The foreign naval ships hosted by the command within the period under review were the Spanish Navy Ships CENTINELA and SERVIOLA, USNS CARSON CITY and the Indian Navy Ship TARKASH and recently Spanish Navy Ship ALMADA”

“The Command intends to consolidate on the experiences gained from the combined friendly exercises with these ships. Worthy of mention is the participation of 2 of the Nigerian Navy Ships from the Western Fleet, NNS EKULU and NNS KARADUWA in the Sixtieth Anniversary of the Ghana Navy in Sekondi Ghana”

“The nation’s energy sector is heavily dependent on the refined products imported mainly by NNPC through the Lagos ports. Distribution of these cargoes is mainly by marine platforms, which need to be escorted to ensure uninterrupted supply of products across the country”

“Accordingly, the Command facilitates security of POL cargoes from Lagos to various destinations, a role that has helped the NNPC manage the volatility in the downstream petroleum sector and the consequent national turmoil. Over 8,500 armed personnel were deployed onboard the vessels during the period under review” he said

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