The Lagos state government has shut 12 houses in the Ilasamaja area of the state following the discovery of shallow oil wells, where diesel was being scooped.
Fatai Owoseni, the state commissioner of police, led security personnel to Abeokuta and Ibadan streets, where the illegality was being perpetrated.
The buildings were sealed off, while some arrests were made.
Addressing reporters at the Lagos House, Ikeja, Steve Ayorinde, commissioner for information and strategy, said the wells were built for the purpose of siphoning diesel from pipeline belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
He said the landlords installed pumping machine and boreholes, which were used for scooping the product that was sold to unsuspecting members of the public.
Ayorinde revealed that the arrest of a woman involved in the illegal operation made it possible for the police to go after other members of the criminal deal.
“Men of the Lagos state police command in the area who were on routine patrol said they saw a woman around 12 midnight with keg of diesel and when an attempt was made for her to be accosted, she fled, a development which alerted the police of something fishy,” he said.
“The police immediately pursued the woman and accosted her, after which she eventually took them to number 12, Abeokuta Street, off Ilasamaja, one of the houses housing the illegal oil wells.
“The officers thereafter left the scene with the arrested woman, and they later came back disguising as potential buyers of diesel, while those inside opened the door.
“It was at that point that the illegal oil well was discovered at the house, after which about 10 more wells were discovered in other houses in Abeokuta and Ibadan streets.”
The commissioner advised residents of the state to always assist security agencies with the provision of useful information that could expose criminality.
“The Lagos state government wishes to use this opportunity to remind Lagosians and the residents of these areas in particular, to assist the police with useful information,” he said.
“We also urge them to always volunteer information before any potentially dangerous situation degenerates to public hazard.”
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