Nigerian Naval operatives attached to the Forward Operating Base, Ibaka, Mbo Local Government Area in Akwa Ibom State on Sunday said some suspected rice smugglers had been arrested.
It was gathered that the suspects were arrested with wooden boat carrying the smuggled grains, and 220 50kg bags of rice.
The operation took place during a routine patrol by Navy gunboats around the Effiat waterways.
The Commanding Officer, FOB, Captain Peter Yilme, made the revelation on Sunday in Ibaka during the handover of the suspects and items to the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).
Yilme, represented by the Base Operations Officer, Lieutenant Commander Kabiru Yusuf, explained that their action was in line with the directives of the Chief of Naval Staff and in compliance with the reference of the FOB.
“On behalf of the Commanding Officer, I am handing over 220 bags of suspected smuggled rice to the Nigeria Customs Service,” he said.
Deputy Superintendent of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Alabi, Adedokun commended the Navy for the cooperation existing between them.
One of the suspects, 29-year-old Godwin Nseyoh, said 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,” he said.
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