The Nigerian Navy, Forward Operating Base (FOB), Ibaka, in Mbo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom, has arrested 10 suspects for allegedly smuggling 956 bags of banned 50kg rice in the state.
The Commanding Officer, Capt. Peter Yilme made the disclosure while briefing newsmen in Mbo, Akwa Ibom on Monday.
He said that the 10 suspects were arrested in three different operations by Navy patrol gunboats in February.
According to him, “165 bags of rice and suspects were apprehended on Ikang water ways; 707 bags of rice and suspects were seized offshore Agbani, while 84 bags of rice and suspects were arrested along the Unyenge creek,” he said.
Yilme warned the smugglers against the illegal trade, saying the Navy would not rest on its oars until the trade and its sponsors were crippled.
He said as long as the smugglers refused to quit the illegal activities on the waterways, the base would continually be on their tails to foil their illicit businesses.
Yilme, who was represented by the Base Operation’s Officer, Lt. Cdr. Kabiru Yusuf, handed over the suspects and items to Superintendent Dauda Abubakar of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) for further action.