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Leave Nigeria’s maritime borders, commanding officer warns criminals

By Inemesit Akpan-Nsoh, Uyo
24 February 2022   |   3:49 am
Forward Operating Base (FOB) Nigerian Navy in Ibaka, Mbo Council of Akwa Ibom State has warned those involved in criminal activities to desist forthwith.

Forward Operating Base (FOB) Nigerian Navy in Ibaka, Mbo Council of Akwa Ibom State has warned those involved in criminal activities to desist forthwith.

The warning was issued by the Commanding Officer, FOB, Navy Capt. Muhammed Kabiru, while handing over seized 40 bags of rice to the Nigerian Customs Service, yesterday, at Ibaka.

Kabiru said 40 bags of rice were seized from smugglers on February 15 during routine patrol operations by the forward operating base, adding that the smugglers abandoned the rice and the boat on sighting the naval patrol team.

He emphasised that the base would not relent in putting an end to illegalities on the Akwa Ibom waterways and that it impounded 40 bags of smuggled rice and siezed the boat used in smuggling the rice.

The commanding officer said the seizure was based on the directives of the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Adm. Auwul Gambo, on zero tolerance to all forms of criminalities on Nigeria maritime domain, particularly smuggling of rice and crude oil theft.

“Officers and men of Foward Operating Base, Ibaka, on February 15, 2022 about 18:00 hours during our usual patrol to weed out all forms of illegalities within our areas of responsibility, came across a boat suspected to be a smuggling boat. Upon sighting our gunboat, the crew jumped into the water and swam to the nearby creek, thereby escaping arrest.

“We have no option but to tow the boat to the base; the boat is here at the jetty with the outboard engine, the content of the boat has been discharged, which is 40 bags 50kg of rice are here.

“So, I Navy Capt. Muhammad Kabiru, Commanding Officer of FOB Ibaka, on behalf of officers and men of FOB Ibaka, hereby hand over the content of the boat, 40 bags of 50kg rice, to Superintendent Kikems Danbana of Nigeria Customs Service, Joint Border Patrol Team, Oron axis for further investigation and possible prosecution,” Muhammed said.

Receiving the bags of rice on behalf of Nigerian Custom Service, Mr. Kikems Danbana, officer in charge of Oron Axis, Joint Border Patrol Team, said Customs would do everything possible to stop smuggling in the country.

Danbana urged the smugglers to desist from the illegal trade, stressing that the NCS would continue to check all economic sabotage in the country.