The Nigerian Navy has uncovered a Lagos hotel where petrol is siphoned from the pipeline of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The Navy, during Operation Awatse, arrested eight suspects at the premises of Glonik Hotel at 31, Social Club Road, Abule Egba.
According to reports, Inspector Lukeman Rabiu of the Lagos Police Command X-Squad Unit, receptionist Gladys Daniel, and waitress Rachael Oludara were among those arrested.
Others are the housekeeper, Adegoke Adetunji, tanker driver, Waliu, Teller, Oluwaseun Oguntoyin, Victor Vincent and Bobola Kuti.
It was learned that Inspector Rabiu allegedly had N1.4 million, a laptop and other valuables in his car.
The Nation reports that some police officers had already begun to lobby for Inspector Rabiu’s release.
The newspaper also reports that three 33,000-litre tankers were loaded overnight with two left. The third one, with registration number EPE367XE was said to have developed technical problems and was abandoned at an improvised loading bay beside the hotel.
The Commanding Officer of Awatse Maritime Component, Commander Chris Akokota, said the place was uncovered about 8am.
“We got some information from Toplink Security personnel that some criminals perpetrating illegal acts of siphoning PMS products through an NNPC pipeline outside the hotel,” Akokota said.
“Upon the information, we quickly deployed our men and when we got here, we realised that most of the top management staff had escaped through the back gate.
“The junior staff and a policeman, who had stayed here in the past six months, were arrested. We tried to investigate the situation and observed all. When we got here, we noticed the smashed screens and broken bottles. Apparently, there might have been a fight before our arrival.
“We discovered that a fully loaded tanker, which still had the hose on it was parked beside the hotel. It seems the tanker developed fault. We learnt that two others had left and they were waiting for the third one to go so that others can be loaded.
“We also saw about 16 jerry cans filled with PMS with six empty ones and they were all embedded in the vehicles parked in the hotel.”
But Inspector Rabiu denied being a member of the gang. He insisted he only lodged at the hotel to meet up with his bi-weekly unit meetings.