The Lagos State Police Command on Thursday uncovered an illegal oil depot located underneath the Oregun-Opebi Link Bridge in Onigbongbo Local Government Area of the State, arresting eight suspects in the process.
The illegal oil depot was uncovered during a joint raid by men of the Lagos Police Command and the Rapid Response Squad (RRS), led by the Commissioner of Police (CP), Mr. Fatai Owoseni and the RRS Commander, Mr. Olatunji Disu, an Assistant Commissioner of Police.
Owoseni, who briefed journalists shortly after inspecting the area, alongside officials of the State Lands Bureau, said the suspects had been engaging in adulteration of petroleum products, which they then proceed to sell to unsuspecting members of the public.
“With what we have seen on ground, the magnitude of the activities taking place here, it shows that this probably must have been happening for some period, it could be years that people don’t get noticed and this could explain why some people would buy new cars, new generators and they would tell you that they put diesel inside and the engine knocks, these are probably the criminal minds behind these things.
“They have so many drums; they even have plenty tankers here and they must have been doing this for long. They take the adulterated products out to go and sell to unsuspecting members of the public and we end up with people having their valuable items destroyed and in some cases leading to fire incidents,” Owoseni said.
The Commissioner of Police, who confirmed that eight suspects were arrested during the raid including the kingpin of the gang carrying out the illegal activities, said a thorough investigation would be carried out, while those found culpable will be prosecuted accordingly.
He also warned those still involved in such practice to desist forthwith, saying that there would be no hiding place as all security apparatus in the State would be deployed to the nook and crannies across the metropolis to fish out criminally minded persons.
“We would use this to send a message across to other people that are engaged in illegal business like this, no stone would be left unturned to get to the root cause, to get to all the people that are involved; the perpetrators, the conspirators and we would ensure that the investigation is carefully handled and done to logical conclusion so that at the end of the day we would get people to face the music and deal with them according to the law.
“Would ensure diligent prosecution as well and with that, we would be sending a message to other perpetrators that are engaged in acts like that to tell them that in Lagos no act of lawlessness and illegality would be entertained and that everyone that has run foul of the law through this kind of thing, would face the music,” the Commissioner of Police said.
Owoseni said the area would be cordoned off by the Police immediately pending the period of conclusion of the investigation process.
“Since this has been uncovered, a stop is going to be put to what is happening right here, because of the illegal activities of the bunkerers, you have mechanics here who are here illegally, you have food vendors here and once the illegal business taking place here is taken away, they also have to relocate somewhere else and run their business legitimately,” he said.