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Navy arrests 20 suspects, seizes 1,425 bags of smuggled rice in Akwa Ibom

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The Nigerian Navy, Forward Operating Base, Ibaka in Mbo council area of Akwa Ibom State has arrested 20 suspects and seized 1,425 bags of smuggled rice.

Parading the suspects yesterday in Ibaka, the Commanding Officer, Navy Captain Peter Yilme, said the arrests were made in four different operations between November 12 and 18, 2019.

He said naval gunboats during patrols seized four wooden boats used in ferrying the smuggled rice on Effiat waterways, amounting to 50 kilogrammes brought in from the Cameroun.

While handing over the suspects and items to the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Yilme said the Nigerian Navy had zero tolerance for criminality, warning smugglers to desist from the act, especially within the FOB Ibaka area of operation.

Represented by the Base Operations Officer, Lieutenant Commander Kabiru Yusuf, the commander said the base in the last one month handed over 3,800 bags of smuggled rice, 60 drums of illegally refined Automated Gas Oil (AGO) and 60 suspects to the Customs component of Operation Swift Response for necessary action.

His words: “Four wooden boats carrying a combined 1,425 bags of 50-kilogramme parboiled rice suspected to be smuggled into the country and 20 suspects were impounded and arrested by the Forward Operating Base, Ibaka. The handover of the 20 suspects and 1,425 bags of rice on Tuesday, November 19,2019 goes to show the resolve of the Base not to relent on its oars. The arrests were made between November 12 and 18, 2019.

“I commend the untiring efforts of the officers and ratings in ensuring the mandate and tasks of the Base are achieved. I also appreciate the immense effort of the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral I. E. Ibas for providing the necessary platform and logistics support for the Base to carry out its operations.”

Receiving the suspects and seized items, the Deputy Superintendent of the NCS, Alabi Adedokun, commended the navy for the cooperation existing between them.

“On behalf of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), I, Alabi Adedokun, take over the 20 defendants and 1,425 bags of foreign parboiled rice. We thank you very much,’ he said.


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