Nigeria

Akwa Ibom: Nigerian Navy impounds 40 bags of rice, boat from smugglers

The Nigerian Navy, Forward Operating Base (FOB) in Ibaka, Mbo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State has impounded 40 bags of smuggled rice and a boat used for the business.

The Commanding Officer, FOB, Navy Capt. Muhammed Kabiru, disclosed this in Ibaka while handing over the smuggled rice to the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) yesterday.

He explained that the 40 bags of rice were seized from smugglers on February 15 during routine patrol operations by the navy.

Kabiru said the smugglers fled abandoning the rice and the boat on sighting the naval patrol team.

The base, he said, would not relent in putting an end to illegalities on the Akwa Ibom State waterways.

The commanding officer said the seizure was premise on the directives of the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Auwul Gambo, of zero tolerance to all forms of criminalities in Nigeria maritime domain, particularly the smuggling of rice and crude oil theft.

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“The incident happened on February 15, 2022, at about 18:00 hours during our usual patrol to weed out all forms of illegalities within our areas of responsibility.

“We came across a suspected smuggling boat, and upon sighting our gunboat,

the crew jumped into the water and swam to the nearby creek, thereby escaping arrest.

“We have no other option than to tow the boat to the base. The boat is here at the jetty with the outboard engine, and the content of the boat has been discharged (50kg of 40 bags of rice).

“So, I Navy Capt. Muhammad Kabiru, Commanding Officer of FOB Ibaka, on behalf of officers and men of FOB Ibaka, hereby handed over the content of the boat to Superintendent Kikems Danbana of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Joint Border Patrol Team, Oron axis for further investigation and possible prosecution,” Muhammed said.

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Receiving the 40 bags of rice on behalf of Nigerian Custom Service, Mr. Kikems Danbana, Officer in Charge of Oron axis, Joint Border Patrol Team, said the Customs would do everything possible to stop smuggling in the country.

Danbana urged the smugglers to desist from the illegal trade, stressing that the NCS would continue to check all economic sabotage in the country.

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