Operatives of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corp (NSCDC) attached to Badagry Division, at the weekend arrested two suspects, Jebleh Taiwo and Jebleh Abiodun, over an attempt to smuggle 120 Jerrycans laden with petrol into Benin-Republic.
The suspects were allegedly arrested at Gberefu beach, a fishing settlement in Badagry.
Aside the 120 Jerrycans of fuel recovered from them, the operatives also seized one wooden boat used to convey the stolen Petroleum product and an outboard engine of a boat.
The Commandant of NSCDC, Lagos State Command, Fasiu Adeyinka, who paraded the suspects before newsmen on Friday said that criminals along riverine communities have diverted another way of smuggling Petroleum products to neighboring countries since after the Federal Government shutdown some of its land borders.
The Commandant said that investigation by security operatives attached to the ongoing joint border drill code named “Operation Swift response” discovered that petrol smuggled out of the country were purchased from filling stations located along border communities.
He said that this prompted the Federal Government to outlaw the sale of Petroleum product by any filling station located close to the border.
He said that upon this directive filling stations located close to border towns were advised to shutdown their operations.
According to him, following the directives, criminals have now resorted to buying petrol from filling stations outside border communities.
He said after buying, the criminals would then move the products on motorcycles to riverine communities or fishing settlement from where the jerry cans containing petrol would be ferried by waterways into Benin-Republic.
He said that based on this discovery, he detailed operatives of the command to be on the lookout for criminals who have devices this new means of smuggling.
“The surveillance paid off after days of intensive monitoring, with the arrest of two members of the syndicate who specialize in ferrying petrol purchased at filling stations into Benin-Republic
“During interrogation the suspects alleged that they were contracted by a certain Chief in the area to help convey the product to Seme-Border” he added
The Commandant said that the suspects also admitted that the petrol was purchased at a certain filling station along the Muwo-Badagry axis.
“On Friday, February 14, 2020, Operatives of the Command attached to Badagry Division who were on patrol along Gberefun beach intercepted a boat with two persons in it.
“An on-the-spot search on the boat revealed that the suspects who identified themselves as Jebleh Taiwo, 20, and Jebleh Abiodun, 30, were in possession of 120 Jerry cans of 25 litre each filled with petrol that was carefully concealed under fishing net.
“During interrogation, the suspects confessed that they were contracted to ferry the product to send border from where it will be moved into Benin Republic.
“They also confessed that the owner of the product bought the fuel from a petrol station in the area. They claimed that they borrowed the boat from a neighbor at Ajido beach.
He however advised those who reside in Badagry to discourage their people from venturing into smuggling, noting that economy of nations has been destroyed through such an unpatriotic act.
In their statement, the suspects said that the owner of the seized product agreed to pay them N500 per jerry can smuggled out of Nigeria.
They alleged that they expect to get N60, 000 from each of the 120 Jerry cans had it been the deal was successful.