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Navy destroys 6, 000 empty jerry cans, wooden boats in Badagry

The Nigerian Navy on Wednesday destroyed over 6,000 empty jerrycans and three wooden boats used in siphoning Premium Motor Spirit known as petrol from Badagry to neighbouring countries.

Speaking with the journalists before the exercise, the Flag Officer Commanding, Western Naval Command Operation, Rear Admiral Mustapha Hassan, said the community, Iyafin, Badagry, is a notorious place for smuggling.

Mr Hassan said, “Today is the seventh day of Operation Water Guard and by the second day of the operation, we have made a massive catch. I promised to bring you to the warehouse of the perpetrators. We are here in Iyafin, a community in Badagry and a notorious place for smuggling.

“You can see right behind me that we have thousands of jerrycans. Our mission here is to stop smuggling and we believe that the destruction of these jerrycans is one of the ways to stop this crime.

“We are here to stop smuggling by these perpetrators and this is our landward and inland incursion towards stopping the crime. We are going to do more by extending our reach beyond Badagry because we know it happens all the way towards Ogun State and all.

“I’m running on government resources and I have the energy. We are making efforts to cut short the activities of these criminals; I will keep working until they get tired. After this community, we will still focus more on the Ashipa community in Seme,” he said.

Mr Hassan, who is also the Commander, South West Joint Task Force Operation AWATSE, said he would work with his land forces to reduce smuggling of petroleum products.

He warned those involved in smuggling to desist and find legitimate work to do.

“I think they have had a free ride for a long time. So, now that they have seen our seriousness of deploying helicopters, camera and air sets, with time we will defeat them as long as I don’t stop. This is a continuous operation, I have the mandate of the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice-Admiral E.I. Ogalla,” he said.

The flag officer warned community leaders in Iyafin to stop hoarding jerrycans in their houses. Some vehicles loaded with jerrycans were also impounded by the navy.

Operation Water Guard was inaugurated on November 9 by the Nigerian Navy to make the Nigerian waters and borders unattainable for maritime criminals and smugglers alike.

The naval officers with the FOC were the Commander, NNS BEECROFT, Commodore Kolawole Oguntuga and Navy Capt. Adams-Aliu, the Commanding Officer, Forward Operating Base, Badagry.

(NAN)

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