Operatives of the Nigerian Navy, Forward Operating Base, Ibaka, in the Mbo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, have arrested 10 suspected smugglers with 956 bags of rice.

The suspects were arrested in three different operations carried out by naval patrol gunboats on February 15, 165 bags of rice was seized along with four suspects, February 23, 707 bags was seized in the second operation with three suspects while on February 25, 84 bags was recovered during the third operation including three suspects. With three wooden boats used in conveying the rice seized.

“The 165 bags of rice and suspects were apprehended on the Ikang waterway; the 707 bags and suspects were arrested at Agbani Offshore; while the 84 bags of rice and suspects were arrested on the Unyenye creek.”

The Base Operation Officer, Lieutenant Commander Kabiru Yusuf, representing the commanding officer warned smugglers to desist from the illegal acts as the Nigerian Navy would not relent in its efforts until smuggling and it sponsors were crippled.

He said, “On behalf of the Commanding Officer, Capital Peter Yilme, I, Lieutenant Commander Kabiru Yusuf, hand over 10 suspects and 956 bags of 50kg rice to the Superintendent of the Nigeria Customs Service, Dauda Abubakar.

Receiving the suspects and the bags of rice, Abubakar expressed appreciation to the Nigerian Navy for its cooperation in the fight against illegal trade, adding that with sustained efforts from the navy and the NCS, the fight against illegal trade would be won.