The Nigerian Navy, through its operation Water Guard, has discovered multiple illegal depots where thousands of empty and filled Jerry cans with Premium Motor Spirit were stockpiled in Badagry and the Nigerian-Benin boundary communities.
Addressing pressmen on Thursday, Commander Joint Task Force Operation AWATSE, Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral MB Hassan stated that the discovery of these multiple illegal depots made on Wednesday afternoon was prompted by the electro-optic facilities and air assets employed by the NN.
The FOC further revealed that the illegal gallons with PMS were discovered in schools, houses, and recreational centres located within the Badagry inland area and adjoining creeks along the Nigeria-Benin Republic boundary.
He said, “In a significant stride towards safeguarding Nigeria’s economic interest, Operation Water Guard, activated by the Nigerian Navy a week ago to combat illicit activities, has yielded a breakthrough.
“The operation, which leveraged electro-optic facilities and air assets, successfully discovered and dismantled multiple depots where thousands of jerricans both empty and filled with PMS were stockpiled.
“In the afternoon of November 15, 2023, following the detection of these illegal depots located in Iyaafin and Itsalu Communities within the Badagry inland area and adjoining creeks along the Nigeria-Benin Republic boundary, a swift and thorough action was taken by the NN men, who combed through houses, schools, and recreational centres in these communities, discovering a staggering number of illicitly stored petroleum products as well as empty jerrycans prepared for future storage of products.”
Expressing concern over the potential hazards posed by these activities, Rear Admiral MB Hassan charged regulatory bodies to review the operation of petrol stations within the communities.
He also promised to intensify the patrols withing that area, adding that the confiscated products would be safely evacuated.
“I urge regulatory authorities to urgently review the operations of petrol stations within these communities. Such intervention is crucial to preventing nefarious activities and avoiding the risk of catastrophic fires that could have dire consequences on life and property.
“However, I assure the public that the confiscated products would be safely evacuated, and patrols would be intensified to curtail further economic sabotage.
“This operation underscores the Nigerian Navy’s steadfast commitment, under the district leadership of Vice Admiral EI Ogalla, Chief of the Naval Staff, to maritime security and the eradication of illicit activities within the nation’s maritime domain for the economic prosperity of Nigeria,” he said.