The Nigerian Navy, Forward Operating Base, Ibaka, Mbo Local Government Area in Akwa Ibom State has nabbed four suspected smugglers in connection with the smuggling of 220 bags of 50kg rice.
The Commanding Officer, FOB, Captain Peter Yilme, said this in Ibaka during the hand-over of the suspects and items to the Nigeria Customs Service.
He said the Navy was committed to making sure that perpetrators of the illegal trade were made to face the full wrath of the law.
Yilme said the suspects were caught with a wooden boat carrying the smuggled rice, adding that the Navy seized the items during a routine patrol around the Effiat waterways.
He said since the smugglers had failed to relent from their ways, the Navy would give them no breathing space until the illegal trade was completely eradicated.
Yilme, represented by the Base Operations Officer, Lieutenant Commander Kabiru Yusuf, said their action was in line with the directives of the Chief of Naval Staff and in compliance with the reference of the FOB.
He said: “On behalf of the Commanding Officer, I am handing over 220 bags of suspected smuggled rice to the Nigeria Customs Service.”
While receiving the four suspects and the rice, Alabi Adedokun, Deputy Superintendent of Nigeria Customs Service, commended the Navy for the cooperation existing between them.
Adedokun said: “On behalf of the Nigeria Customs Service, I, Alabi Adedokun take over the four defendants and 220 bags of foreign parboiled rice on behalf of the Nigeria Customs Service.
“We thank you very much.”
Speaking on behalf of the suspects, Godwin Nseyoh, 29, from Mbo Local Government Area, confessed that he did not know that smuggling rice was wrong.
“I am a fisherman in Effiat community. I didn’t know that bringing in rice from Cameroon is wrong,” Nseyoh said.