The Nigerian Navy, Forward Operating Base (FOB), Ibaka in the Mbo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State has arrested two suspected smugglers with 38 bags of rice.
The suspects were arrested on January 4, 2024, at about 08:30 hours with 38 bags of rice and the boat used in smuggling the rice.
Speaking on Monday while handing over the suspects and 38 bags of parboiled rice to the Nigerian Customs Service in Ibaka, Commanding Officer, FOB, Navy Capt. Uche Aneke said the rice was suspected to have been smuggled in from Cameroon.
Aneke stated that an intelligence report indicated that a boat was conveying foreign parboiled rice transiting within the waters under the FOB Ibaka area of responsibility.
“Consequently, the gunboats from the base on routine patrols through a stop-and-search operation were able to intercept two suspected smugglers in a fibre boat that contained 38 bags of 50kg contraband foreign parboiled rice concealed under nine empty drums of 250 litres covered with a canopy,” he said as reported by Daily Trsut.
The CO said FOB, Ibaka under the Eastern Naval Command Area of responsibility will continue to detect criminals with advanced surveillance equipment, apprehend them, and ensure their arrest and prosecution.
He warned individuals or groups involved in smuggling illegal consignment into or out of Nigeria or planning to carry out any form of criminality in the nation’s territorial waters to desist forthwith.
He stated that the Nigerian waters and coastal areas are not for illegal activities.