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Navy parades 13 suspected smugglers with 2,053 bags of rice

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Nigerian Navy, Forward Operating Base (FOB), Ibaka, Mbo Council, Akwa Ibom State, has arrested 13 suspected smugglers and seized 2,053 bags of rice weighing 50kg each from them.

Parading the suspects yesterday in Ibaka, the Commanding Officer, FOB, Capt. Peter Yilme, said they were arrested in two different operations on January 26 and 29, 2020 about 0055 and 0615 hours respectively at the Unyenge creek area.

Represented by the Base Operations Officer, Lt.-Commander Kabiru Yusuf, at the handover of the suspects and bags of rice to the Deputy Superintendent of Customs (DSC), Garuba Hassan, said the arrests were made during a routine patrol by navy gunboats.

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He stressed that the FOB would not relent in putting an end to illegalities on the waterways, and advised the smugglers to desist from the illicit act.

The arrests were made within three days after five suspects and 98 bags of rice were handed over to the NCS, he added.

“On behalf of the Commanding Officer, FOB, Ibaka, I hand over 2,053 bags of seized rice and 13 suspects to DSC K.G. Hassan of the NCS.

“The arrest brings to the fore the unrelenting drive of the smugglers to continue the illicit act. Nevertheless, the base will not relent in ridding the waterways of all forms of criminal activities for legitimate economic activities to strive,” he said.

Advising smugglers to turn a new leaf and embrace legitimate business activities, he expressed appreciation to the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Ibok Ete Ibas, for providing the base with necessary logistics.

“Additionally, the base would not be achieving its operational mandate if not for the support and encouragement accorded her by the FOC, Eastern Naval Command, RAdm. David Adeniran,” he said.

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