Naval operatives of Operation Awatse in Lagos on Wednesday uncovered a Lagos hotel where Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) was siphoned from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) pipeline.
The operatives led by Commander Chris Akokota arrested eight suspects including a Police Inspector at the premises, Glonik Hotel situated at 31, Social Club Road, Abule Egba, Lagos.
The suspects arrested were Insp. Lukeman Rabiu of the Lagos Police Command X-Squad Unit, the receptionist, one Gladys Daniel, the waitress Rachael Oludara (22), housekeeper, Adegoke Adetunji (20), tanker driver Waliu Teller (41) Oluwaseun Oguntoyin (20), Victor Vincent (19) and Bobola Kuti (28).
Sources hinted that three 33,000 litres tankers were loaded overnight, two left while the third one with registration number EPE367XE developed technical problems and was abandoned at an improvised loading bay beside the hotel.
When security agencies visited the scene with some naval officers, two empty tankers on the street with pieces of broken bottles, chattered windscreens, hose and fuel-laden jerry cans found in the hotel.
Also, clips used to grip hose on pumping machines were seen in room 209 which was said to have been occupied by another policeman who fled.
An abducted woman held hostage was found tied up in a room inside the hotel and rescued by the operatives.
Policemen attached to Ijaye division also responded to a distress call from the scene which almost led to a rivalry between the security operatives.
The receptionist, Rachel Egbede, stated that she started working at the hotel after the previous workers were sacked three weeks ago.
“I observed that some men gather here by 10pm every night claiming they came for a meeting and whenever I challenge them, my manager usually tell me to let them be,” she said.
“Most times I see policemen with them so I never suspected anything until today that I started hearing gunshots in the middle of the night before we were all rounded up.”
Waliu Tella, the arrested tanker driver, disclosed that he brought his vehicle to the location after he was promised N500, 000 per trip.
Five tankers and two tanker heads were packed at the scene.
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