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Navy arrests six suspects, 1,439 bags of smuggled rice


• Commissions female hostel in Cross River
• NAPTIP nabs two, rescues 21 in Akwa Ibom

The Nigerian Navy, Forward Operating Base (FOB), Ibaka, Mbo Council, Akwa Ibom State, has arrested six suspected smugglers and seized 1,439 bags of smuggled rice from them.

Naval officers and men on routine patrol in gunboats made the arrests along the Unyenge, Effiat and Mendoro creeks in five different operations.

Parading the suspects in Ibaka, the FOB Commanding Officer, Capt. Peter Yilme, said that two suspects were arrested with 803 bags of 50kg rice on January 13 2020, while on January 2, about 185 bags of rice were seized, but the suspects escaped on siting the Navy gunboats.


He added that 286 bags of rice were seized on December 26, 2019, but the suspects escaped, while two suspects with 88 bags of rice and another two with 77 bags of rice were arrested on December 23, 2019.

While handing over the suspects and items to the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Yilme said the command would remain steadfast in fighting illegalities on the waterways in line with the directive of the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe.

“I hand over 1,439 bags of rice and six suspects to the Superintendent of Customs, Garuba Hassan, in line with the directives of the CNS. We are committed to rid the waterways of all forms of illegalities,” he said.

In Calabar, Cross River State, the navy on Monday commissioned a female hostel at the Nigerian Navy Secondary School (NNSS), Akpabuyo.

While commissioning the project, the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Eastern Naval Command, Rear Admiral David Adeniran, said the construction of additional female hostel was to create an enabling environment for learning.

On his part, the Commander of the Nigerian Navy Ship Victory, Rear Admiral Vincent Okeke, who equally commissioned a water project, a quarter guard as well as laid the foundation for a male hostel, charged the students to take good care of the facilities the navy provided for their comfort.

Meanwhile, the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) rescued 21 victims from suspected human traffickers on January 13, 2020.

The Uyo Zonal Commander, Mr. Nduka Nwawwenne, disclosed this to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in Uyo.

Nwawwenne said the 21 victims were intercepted by men of the Department of State Service (DSS) along Obot Akara Council in Akwa Ibom in a bus conveying them to western part of the country.

He said that two suspects arrested in connection with the crime were undergoing interrogation.

The commander said preliminary investigation revealed that most of the victims that aged between 15 and 18 were from Cross River, adding that most of them were males.

He said the two suspects arrested were the driver and the conductor of the bus, adding that investigation was ongoing to uncover the prime suspect.

“We can say this is one of the success stories of collaboration we are having. The DSS has just handed over 21 victims of human trafficking yesterday (Monday). That is the essence of collaboration,” he said.

He added that the Director General of NAPTIP, Julie Okah Donli, has zero tolerance for human trafficking.

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