Police operatives have arrested three crew members and detained a marine vessel, Jazzi, found with 800,000 litres of adulterated diesel in Lagos.
The suspects included Ogbolu Louis (Captain), Izuazu Anayo (Chief Engineer), Solomon Agbanoma (Able Seaman) and a depot manager, Olajide Kabir.
Parading the suspects at the Force Headquarters, Abuja on Thursday, the Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood explained that they were apprehended by
IGP’S Task Force on Illegal Petroleum Bunkering at a location in Kirikiri area of Lagos State.
He stated that a Department of Petroleum Resources laboratory analysis indicated that the product is off-specification, adding that the suspects have volunteered confessional statements indicating the various criminal roles they played in the commission of the economic crime.
Moshood said, “On February 6, 2017 at about 0217hrs, after a sustained surveillance and monitoring of MT Jazzi vessel and crew members sailing from the creeks of Port Harcourt in Rivers State, the IGP Task Force on Illegal Petroleum Bunkering unexpectedly swooped on the vessel and its crew members at a location in Kirikiri Area of Lagos State, arrested the vessel and the three crew members and the Manager of the Nakem depot where the illegally refined AGO (Diesel) was discharged.”
He said that investigation was being intensified to arrest their collaborators and sponsors, adding that they would be charged to court on completion of investigation for dealing in suspected illegally refined petroleum products.
But Louis denied that the product was adulterated, insisting that he had the necessary documents to prove that the diesel was legally lifted.
He however added that the police did not allow him to retrieve the documents, adding that he was beaten with a machete and was forced to admit to the crime in order to save his life.
“I have all the documents to prove that the product was legitimately lifted but the police did not allow me to get them. They beat me with machete and I had to sign a confessional statement that I lifted the AGO from Abonema creeks in order to save my life,” he stressed.