In Akwa Ibom: Navy nabs 20 rice smugglers

The Nigerian Navy, Forward Operating Base, Ibaka, in the Mbo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, has announced the arrest of 20 suspects and seizure of 1,425 bags of smuggled rice within six days.

Southern City News gathered that four wooden boats used in conveying the rice were also seized during operations between November 12 and 18, 2019.

Speaking while handing over the suspects to the Nigeria Customs Service, the Commanding Officer, FOB, Navy Captain Peter Yilme, said the arrests were made by naval gunboats during routine patrol of the Effiat waterway.

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

The Deputy Superintendent, NCS, Alabi Adedokun, while receiving the items, commended the navy for the cooperation existing between the two outfits and for the frequent arrest of smugglers.

One of the suspects, Peter Okon, said he was pushed into smuggling by joblessness, adding that he was not aware of the closure of borders by the Federal Government.

Okon, who hails from the Okobo Local Government Area of the state, said it was his first time of smuggling rice and that the owner of the consignment promised to pay him N2,000 to bring in 200 bags of the commodity from Cameroon.

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