The Forward Operating Base, FOB of the Nigerian Navy in Ibaka, Akwa Ibom State, has arrested six suspected smugglers and seized 256 bags of 50kg rice.
The Commanding Officer of FOB. Peter Yilme, made the disclosure while handing over the suspects and items to the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, on Tuesday.
Mr Yilme was represented by the Base Operations Officer, Kabiru Yusuf.
He said that the navy also seized a medium-sized wooden boat from the suspected smugglers.
Mr Yilme said that the navy was determined to end smuggling on waterways, and warned smugglers to desist from the act or be arrested.
He said that the navy would intensify riverine and land patrols to ensure an end to illegal trade on the waterways.
“I hereby hand over one medium-sized wooden boat laden with 256 bags of rice, along with its six crew members to the Nigeria Customs Service.
“The base will not relent in curbing smuggling and other illegal activities by criminal elements on waterways or inland.
“As they continue to devise new means of smuggling rice, FOB, Ibaka, will also intensify riverine and land patrols to ensure that illegal smuggling is stopped within its area of operation,” he said.
Receiving the suspects and items, a Deputy Superintendent of Nigeria Customs Service, Alabi Adedokun, hailed the personnel of the Nigerian Navy for their cooperation.
He said: “On behalf of the Nigeria Customs Service, I, Alabi Adedokun, take over the six defendants and 256 bags of foreign parboiled rice.
“On behalf of the Nigeria Customs Service, we thank you very much.”