The Lagos State Police Command has recovered 3, 600 litres of fuel from suspected pipeline vandals in the Aquatira area, 1st Avenue by 12 Road, in the FESTAC area of the state.
SUNDAY PUNCH gathered that the suspects, however, fled the scene on a canoe following the arrival of the police.
A police source said the vandals always pumped fuel in the area at night.
He said the fuel was always stored in polythene bags, adding that each bag could take as much as 150 litres of fuel.
The source said the hoodlums were initially loading the fuel in a tanker, but later changed their technique so as to evade the vigilance of the police.
“They are pipeline vandals. There is a pipe that passed through a canal at FESTAC, buried deep in the waters. The vandals go down inside the canal, loosen the pipe, connect a hose to it and pump the fuel into a tanker. But we have been monitoring them and we always arrest the tankers.
“Because we have become used to their system, they devised another method. They get big polythene bags that can take as much as 150 litres of fuel. They load the bags with 100 litres of fuel so that they will not burst. After loading them with fuel, they put them into sacks and tie the sacks together. They put the sacks on the canal, but they are three-quarter buried inside the water and will not be visible to the eye,” he said.
Speaking further, the source stated, “When their boat comes, they hook the sacks and take them to wherever they need them. But on the day of the incident, we intercepted them and immediately they saw us in our vehicle, they fled in their boat. We called the Marine Police to help us bring out the fuel.”
He said the fuel would be kept as exhibits or after obtaining a court order, it would be auctioned.
When contacted about the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer, Dolapo Badmos, said she would respond later to the issue, but she had not done so as of the time of filing this report.