The Nigerian Navy, Forward Operating Base, Ibaka in Mbo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, said it arrested a total of 54 suspects and seized 3,378 bags of smuggled rice from the suspects in the month of October 2019.
The command said the smuggled rice, which is worth about fifty seven million, four hundred and twenty-six thousand naira (57,426,000) were seized alongside 14 wooden boats within the four weeks period.
Speaking on Thursday in Ibaka, Commanding Officer, FOB, Captain Peter Yilme said 389 and 261 bags of 50kg rice, as well as 8 suspects and 2 wooden boats were brought in from the Republic of Cameroon.
He added that they were arrested on October 27 and 29 respectively around parrot island along Calabar Channel and Effiat waters ways during a patrol by Navy gunboats.
While handing over the suspects and items to the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Yilme who was represented by the Base Operations Officer, Lieutenant Commander Kabiru Yusuf, said the command will remain steadfast in fighting illegalities on the waterways.
He maintained that FOB Ibaka will not relent in going after persons who continue to engage in rice smuggling despite the Federal Government’s directives against the importation of foreign rice.