Operatives of Nigerian Navy Forward at Ibaka, Mbo Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State on Tuesday said rice smugglers numbering about six had been nabbed.
The suspects were arrested with 256 bags of 50kg rice, and one medium-sized wooden boat.
The Commanding Officer, FOB, Captain Peter Yilme said the Navy is determined to end smuggling on the waterways, warning smugglers to desist from the act or be arrested.
Speaking on Tuesday in Ibaka during the handover of the items to the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Yilme who was represented by the Base Operations Officer, Lieutenant Commander Kabiru Yusuf, said that the Navy would intensify riverine and land patrols to ensure that illegal trade on the waterways was curtailed.
He reassured the commitment of the Navy to fight against smuggling in the country.
“I hereby handover one medium sized wooden boat laden with 256 bags of rice, along with its 6 crew members to the Nigeria Customs Service.
“The Base will not relent in curbing smuggling as well as other illegal activities by criminal elements on the water ways or inland.
“As they continue to device 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.