Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) operatives at Badagry have arrested two fishermen for alleged attempt to smuggle 120 jerry-cans of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) to the Benin Republic.
The suspects Jebleh Taiwo and Jebleh Abiodun arrested at Gberefu Beach, a fishing settlement, in Badagry at the weekend.
It was gathered that they had loaded the products into a wooden boat which was also impounded by the operatives and its outboard engine seized.
Parading the suspects at the weekend, NSCDC Lagos Commandant Fasiu Adeyinka said that criminals along riverine communities were devising new ways following the closure of the land border including the use of fishing boats.
Adeyinka said smugglers who were short of supply following government directives to stop the sale of petrol to filling stations along border communities, resorted to buying from areas of supply and shipping them to fishing settlements for onward movement to the French country.
Based on this discovery, the Commandant said operatives were detailed to be on lookout for smugglers using these tactics and surveillance paid off within days of intensive monitoring.
“On Friday, February 14, operatives of the command attached to Badagry Division who were on patrol along Gberefu Beach intercepted a boat with two persons in it.
“On the spot search of the boat revealed that the suspects who identified themselves as Jebleh Taiwo, 20, and Jebleh Abiodun, 30, carried 120 Jerry cans of 25 litres each, filled with petrol that was carefully concealed under fishing nets.
“During interrogation, the suspects confessed they were contracted to ferry the products to the Seme border by one Chief, from where the products 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 neighbour at Ajido beach,” he said.
In their confessional statements, the suspects said Chief agreed to pay then N500 per keg smuggled out, adding that they would have made N60,000 if they succeeded with ferrying the 120 jerry-cans.
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