Navy Arrests 2 Suspected Smugglers, Impound 38 bags of Rice in Akwa Ibom

Navy Arrests 2 Suspected Smugglers, Impound 38 bags of Rice in Akwa Ibom

The Commanding Officer, Nigerian Navy Forward Operating Base (FOB), Ibaka in Mbo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, Navy Capt. Uche Aneke said the command has apprehended two suspects for smuggling rice in the state.

He added that the command impounded 38 bags of rice as well as the boat used in smuggling them.

Aneke who disclosed this while handing over the suspects and the contraband rice to the Nigerian Customs Service in Ibaka on Monday said the suspects were arrested on Jan. 4 at about 08:30hrs in the morning.

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He said that intelligence indicated that a boat was conveying some foreign parboiled rice suspected to have been smuggled from Cameroon to Nigeria and transiting within the waters under FOB Ibaka area of responsibility.

“Consequently, the gunboats from the Base on routine patrols, through a stop and search operation were able to intercept two suspected smugglers in a fibre boat that contained 38 bags of 50kg contraband foreign parboiled rice concealed under nine drums of 250ltrs empty drums covered with a canopy,” Aneke said.

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He warned individual or groups interested in smuggling illegal consignment into or out of Nigeria, or planning to carry out any form of criminality in Nigeria’s territorial waters to desist forthwith.

Receiving the two suspects, along with seized items, Superintendent of Custom, Bolaji Ajao, said that the team would take the suspects for further investigation and prosecution.

Ajao thanked Nigerian Navy for their cooperation and support to the Nigerian Customs Service in combating smuggling in the country.