Operatives of the Nigerian Navy, Forward Operating Base, Ibaka, in the Mbo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, have arrested 12 suspects with 50 drums of illegal Automated Gas Oil and 486 bags of smuggled rice.
It was gathered that the arrests were made in three different operations by the operatives.
In the first two operations, five suspects each were arrested with 209 and 277 bags of 50kg rice, while in the last operation, two suspects were arrested with 50 drums of illegal AGO.
The new Commanding Officer, FOB, Captain Peter Yilme, said the arrests were made within two days of his resumption in office, adding that the base under his watch would sustain the war against smuggling on the waterways.
He warned the smugglers to desist from the illegal activity.
Speaking on Thursday while handing over the items to the Nigeria Customs Service and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Yilme, who was represented by the Base Operation Officer, Kareem Yusuf, said smugglers would continue to experience hard times if they did not desist from smuggling.
“On behalf of the Flag Officer Commanding the Eastern Naval Command, I hand over 486 bags of smuggled rice and 10 suspects to the Nigeria Customs Service. I also hand over two suspects and 50 drums of AGO to the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps,” he stated.
The Deputy Superintendent of Customs, Alabi Adedokun, who received 10 suspects and 486 bags of rice from the Nigerian Navy, commended the navy for the synergy existing between them.
In his remarks, the Divisional Officer, NSCDC in charge of the Mbo Local Government Area, James Essien, who received the 50 drums of AGO and two suspects, commended the navy for its efforts in combating smuggling.
He stated, “On behalf of the state Commandant, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Akwa Ibom State Command, Adeyinka Fasiu, I hereby take over the two suspects and 50 drums of 300 litres each of AGO from the Nigerian Navy.”