Six suspected rice smugglers have been arrested and 256 bags of rice each weighing 50kg seized in Ibaka, Akwa Ibom State.
The Forward Operating Base Commanding Officer of the Nigerian Navy, Capt. Peter Yilme, made the disclosure while handing over the suspects and items to the Nigeria Customs Service on Tuesday in Ibaka, Mbo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.
Yilme who was represented by the Base Operations Officer, Lt. Cmdr. Kabiru Yusuf said the Navy also seized a medium-sized wooden boat from the suspected smugglers.
He emphasized that the Navy was determined to end smuggling on waterways, and warned smugglers to desist from the act or risk arrest.
He said that the Navy would intensify riverine and land patrols to put an end to smuggling on the waterways.
“I hereby hand over one medium-sized wooden boat laden with 256 bags of rice, along with its six crew members to the Nigeria Customs Service.
“The base will not relent in curbing smuggling and other illegal activities by criminal elements on waterways or inland.
“As they continue to devise new means of smuggling rice, FOB, Ibaka, will also intensify riverine and land patrols to ensure that illegal smuggling is stopped within its area of operation,” he said.
Receiving the suspects and items, a Deputy Superintendent of Nigeria Customs Service, Alabi Adedokun, hailed the Navy for cooperation.
“On behalf of the Nigeria Customs Service, I, Alabi Adedokun, take over the six defendants and 256 bags of foreign parboiled rice”, he said.
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