The Nigerian Navy, Forward Operating Base, (FOB) Ibaka in Mbo local government area of Akwa Ibom State, yesterday said it has intercepted a total of 956 bags of rice smuggled into the state.
The Commanding Officer, FOB, Captain Peter Yilme, said ten (10) suspects were arrested in connection with the illegal trade in three different operations by Navy patrol gunboats in February 2020.
Yilme who was represented by the Base Operations Officer, Lieutenant Commander Kabiru Yusuf while handing over the suspects and items to the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) said some suspects were intercepted with bags of rice on Ikang waterways, and others along Unyenge creek.
He expressed concern that the smugglers persists on their illegal activities on the waterways despite warnings, and vowed that the Navy would not rest on its oars until the trade and its sponsors are crippled.
“On behalf of the Commanding Officer, Captain Peter Yilme, I, Lieutenant Commander K. Yusuf hand over ten suspects with 956 bags of 50kg rice to the Nigeria Customs Service.
“Navy patrol gunboats on 15th February 2020, arrested 165 bags of rice and 4 suspects, on 23rd February, 707 bags of rice and 3 suspects were arrested, while on 25th February, 84 bags of rice and 3 suspects were arrested.
“The 165 bags of rice and suspects were apprehended on Ikang water ways, the 707 bags of rice and suspects were seized offshore Agbani, while the 84 bags of rice and suspects were arrested along the Unyenge creek,” he stated.
Superintendent Dauda Abubakar, received the suspects and items on behalf of the Nigeria Customs Service.