Naval operatives attached to the Forward Operating Base, Ibaka in Mbo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State have arrested six suspected rice smugglers and seized 1, 439 bags of smuggled rice.
The Commanding Officer FOB, Captain Peter Yilme, told reporters yesterday that the arrests were made along the Unyenge, Effiat and Mendoro creeks in five operations by his men on routine patrol in their gunboats.
He said that on January 13, two suspects were arrested with 803 bags of 50kg rice, while on January 2, 185 bags of rice were seized, but the suspects escaped on sighting the Navy gunboats. Yilme added that on December 26, 2019, 286 bags of rice were seized, but the suspects escaped, while on December 23, 2019, two suspects were arrested with 88 bags of rice and another two suspects with 77 bags of rice on the same day.
Handing over the suspects and items to the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Yilme said the command would remain steadfast in fighting illegalities on the waterways in line with the directive of the Chief of Naval Staff.