I Got N10m In One Operation —Pirate


A suspected vessel hijacker has revealed the megabuck he makes in every operation his syndicate carries out on the high seas.

An Ijaw from Ondo State, the suspect  made this known when he was arrested by the Task Force recently constituted by the Nigerian Maritime And Safety Administration Agency (NIMASA).

He boasted that he is second to none in terms of hitting target on the waters, describing himself as the Commander of all hijackers in Nigeria.

He declare: “There is nothing to hide about it again. I am their commander. Even Wazobia, who was first arrested, is my boy. I have lost count of the number of vessels we have hijacked.”

According to him, the last vessel his gang hijacked was MT ENERGY CENTURION and the operation took place a few days ago on Lome waters. He stressed that he realised not less than N10million from the operation.

He added: “The operation was sponsored by powerful people. These people are even in the Presidency. There is a lot of money in oil theft.”

The suspect further revealed that there are about 1,250 trained pirates across Nigeria just as he boasted of having about 3,000 high calibre military weapons kept in different parts of the country.

The modus operandi of the  syndicates involves a network which works closely with them by giving them information regarding the vessel to hijack.

Blessing specifically alleged that the NNPC and Ministry of Petroleum and security agencies feed them with relevant information on vessels to hijack,  adding that his gang starts work after part payment has been made, with the balance paid after the operation.

“Once we complete the assignment, we inform the pointsmen who would also contact another team from the cabal who take charge of the hijacked vessel and offload the oil in the various facilities for distribution by oil marketers and merchants.

“We do not engage in the sale of the products once we complete our assignment but we assist to monitor through arms support,” he said.

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The suspect confessed to the killing of their victims during operation which he likened to war, revealing that no successful hijack operation takes place in Africa without the knowledge of his gang.

The code name for piracy, according to him, is COJA, revealing further that his gang was planning another attack on a vessel in Cotonou when he was arrested in a Hotel in Lagos.

“One of the top players in the oil industry contacted us and gave us the job. The agreed sum for the operation was N16million.”

Other members of the gang were arrested.

The suspect advised the Federal Government to look inward in its fight against oil theft. “Lagos State being a coastal city plays a major role as a place where we meet to discuss business. So, government must search its big men if it is serious in fighting the war.

Meanwhile, President Goodluck Jonathan is said to have shown interest in the investigation of suspected hijackers so far detained.

A source said he has called for the file containing the list of the past cases not well treated.

The President, according to the source, insists that appropriate punishment should be meted out to those involved regardless of their status.

One of the security agencies is said to be already under the watch of the Presidency over the alleged compromising conduct frustrating the battle against the piracy.

—Oluwole Adeboye

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