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Navy arrests 2 Nigerians, Cameroonians for rice smuggling

Barely two days after 1,408 bags of smuggled rice were impounded, the Nigerian Navy has again foiled smuggling in the maritime domain as its patrol team arrested four Cameroonians and two Nigerians with 631 bags of rice.

The suspects were arrested on December 28, 2019, as they were conveying the contraband from Cameroon to Nigeria in a wooden boat.

The Commander of the Nigerian Navy Ship Victory, Rear Admiral Vincent Okeke, disclosed this to journalists in Calabar while handing over the suspects and the contraband to the Nigeria Customs Service.

Okeke said, “On Saturday, December 28, 2019, the NNS Victory patrol team arrested six men suspected to be smugglers at the Utan Creek, off Tom Shot Island.

“The suspects were arrested with a large wooden boat laden with bags of foreign parboiled rice suspected to have been smuggled from Cameroon. Upon disembarkation at the NNS Victory jetty, the base recovered 631 bags of different foreign rice brands.

“Earlier on Thursday, December 26, 2019, another large wooden boat laden with 1,408 bags of foreign parboiled rice was arrested at the Okposo Creek, off Tom Shot Island. On sighting the NNS Victory patrol team, the boat crew absconded from the boat through the creek. Nonetheless, the boat was safely moved to the base, where the 1,408 bags of rice were offloaded and kept in the custody of the NNS Victory.”

He added that the NNS Victory patrol team recently seized 50 bags of foreign rice at the Safe Journey Jetty, but with no suspect arrested during a raid.

Okeke added, “This brings the total number of seized bags of rice that will be handed over the task force leader of the Border Drill in Calabar area to 2,089. The total market value of the seized items is about N115,581,000. Punch

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