The Nigerian Navy on 2022 Exercise Obangame Express yesterday arrested two vessels and a Cotonou wooden boat loaded with suspected adulterated Automatic Gas Oil (AGO), also known as diesel.
According to the Fleet Commander, Central Naval Command and Officer in Tactical Command of Exercise Obangame Express 2022, Olusanya Bankole, who spoke during the arrest, explained that the Cotonou boat with seven suspects onboard were arrested along Sam Brerio River Mouth.
Bankole also revealed that the vessels were apprehended within the Central Naval Command Area of Responsibility of Nigerian Navy.
As at the time of filing this report, THISDAY could not ascertain the quantity of the products, who was behind the illegal oil business and the destination of the products before arrest, as suspects were still undergoing interrogation.
THISDAY onboard the Obangame Express noted that the suspects were arrested between 6:30pm and 7pm yesterday.
During the official flag-off of the 2022 Obangame Express Exercise, the Chief of Naval Staff, (CNS) Vice Admiral Awwal Z. Gambo had stated that the ongoing exercise aimed at improving security between Gulf of Guinea navies and allied friends.
According to Gambo, the exercise was designed to improve regional collaboration through joint operations, intelligence sharing and harmonised legal framework to enhance collective capabilities of Gulf of Guinea nations against maritime crime.