Operatives of the Nigerian Navy, Forward Operating Base Ibaka, in the Mbo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State have arrested one Ben Etim for allegedly smuggling 61 bags of rice
Etim, 28, was apprehended on August 5, 2021 along the Mbo river during a routine patrol by the operatives and his engine boat seized from him.
The Commanding Officer, FOB, Navy Capt. Suleiman Abdullahi, disclosed this to newsmen while handing over the suspect and the seized items to the Nigeria Customs Service on Friday.
He reiterated the commitment of the Base to putting an end to illegal smuggling in line with the directives of the Chief of Naval Staff, Auwal Gambo.
“The Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Adm. Auwal Gambo, has given a clear directive to Nigerian Navy to rid the waterways of illegalities and other maritime crimes.
“In compliance to that, the Flag Officer Eastern Naval Command, Rear Adm. Sanusi Ibrahim, has further impressed on all Operation Bases within his Area of Responsibility to keep up with the CNS directive.
“And in compliance to the directive, FOB Ibaka while on routine patrol on Aug. 5, 2021, around 16.53hours alongside Mbo rivers, two of our gunboats arrested this particular exhibit, which comprised; 61 kg parboiled rice suspected to have been smuggled into Nigeria from the Republic of Cameroon.
“And same as you have witnessed is being handed over to the Joint Border Patrol, Operation Tripartite Sector one. To be handed over to them are; 61 bags of rice, one wooden boat and one suspect,” Abdullahi said.
The commander warned smugglers to stay out of the business as the base would not relent in its continuous patrol to sustain the directive of the CNS and rid criminal elements out of Nigeria waterways.
He urged them to desist from smuggling and other illegal businesses and engage in legitimate endeavours.