The Nigerian Navy, Forward Operating Base, Ibaka, Mbo local government area in Akwa Ibom State, has arrested four suspects in connection with the smuggling of 220 bags of 50kg rice.
The four male suspects and the wooden boat carrying the smuggled rice were seized during a routine patrol by Navy gunboats around the Effiat waterways.
The Commanding Officer, FOB, Captain Peter Yilme said in Ibaka during the hand-over of the suspects and items to the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), that the Navy is committed in making sure perpetrators of the illegal trade were crippled.
He said since the smugglers have failed to relent from their ways, the Navy will give them no breathing space until the illegal trade is completely eradicated.
Yilme who was represented by the Base Operations Officer, Lieutenant Commander Kabiru Yusuf, said their action was in line with the directives of the Chief of Naval Staff and in compliance with the reference of the FOB.
“On behalf of the Commanding Officer, I am handing over 220 bags of suspected smuggled rice to the Nigeria Customs Service,” he said.
While receiving the 4 suspects and 220 bags of rice from the Nigerian Navy, Deputy Superintendent of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Alabi, Adedokun commended the Navy for the cooperation existing between them, and for the frequent arrests.
He said, “On behalf of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), I, Alabi, Adedokun take over the 4 defendants and 220 bags of foreign parboiled rice. On behalf of the Nigeria Customs Service, we thank you very much.”