The Nigerian Navy on Thursday in Lagos handed over to the Nigeria Customs Service 150 bags of foreign rice and 100 cartons of frozen turkey smuggled into the country.
The Naval Commander, Forward Operating Base, Capt. Tamuno Senibo, who handed over the smuggled items at the base in Badagry, a Lagos suburb, said that the goods were intercepted by naval operatives on June 7 and June 27 on Badagry – Seme waters.
Senibo said that four wooden boats used in conveying the items were also impounded by the service.
He said: “While patrolling the waters between Badagry and Seme creeks, we intercepted four wooden boats laden with 150 bags of smuggled rice and 100 cartons of frozen poultry products.
“The suspects on sighting our men jumped overboard and swam away.”
According to him, his men are still on their trail, warning every other suspect to desist from the waterways or gave the wrath of the law.
He said the part of the mandate of the navy apart from policing the waters, was to assist in the coordination of customs laws.
He said: “This is what we are doing and in line with the Harmonised Standard Operative Procedure, we are handing over these items to the NCS for further investigation.
“What we have done is in line with the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Adm. Ibok-Ette Ibas’s strategic guideline.
“My advice to criminals is for them to stay away from the country’s waterways as there will no longer be any hiding place for them.
“They should turn a new leaf in their own interest.”
The Assistant Superintendent of Customs, Lewis Embe, who led a team of customs officers to take over the seized products, hailed the efforts of the navy.
Embe urged the naval ratings not to relent in their efforts to curtail smuggling in the country.