- The Nigerian Navy has arrested eight suspected smugglers in Akwa Ibom state
- Navy Captain Yusuf Idris, the commanding officer, advised maritime offenders to keep away from the nation’s maritime environment
- Idris assured Nigerians that the navy would continue to support the customs to rid the country’s waterways of contraband
About eight suspected smugglers have been arrested by the Nigerian Navy, Forward Operating Base, Ibaka, in the Mbo local government area of Akwa Ibom state, The Punch reports.
Legit.ng gathered that navy also seized 642 bags of rice, four outboard engines, a water pumping machine and two wooden boats.
The eight suspects, who were reported to be Nigerians, were arrested on Friday, April 27, when they allegedly made their voyage back to the country’s waterways with the contraband product from the Republic of Cameroon.
The commanding officer, Navy Captain Yusuf Idris, in Ibaka on Saturday, April 28, warned smugglers to stay out of the Nigerian maritime environment.
He said: “About two months ago, the arrest of suspects and seizures of contraband items were almost a weekly affair. Whenever we went out into the seas, we made arrests.
“Within that period, I advised the maritime offenders to keep away from the nation’s maritime environment, especially the Eastern flank. I am happy to an extent that some smugglers listened to this warning. This is not unconnected with the reduction in the level of criminality on our waterways.
“Nevertheless, we want to put a total stop to it. Under this leadership of the naval high command, we have zero tolerance for all forms of maritime offences."
Idris while handing over the suspects and the items to the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), assured Nigerians that the navy would continue to support the NCS to rid the country’s waterways of contraband and dangerous products.
Bruno Owobiakuno, one of the suspects, who claimed the voyage was his first, said he and his team were arrested by the navy when they entered Ebughu, in Mbo LGA, Akwa Ibom state.
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In a previous report by Legit.ng, the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) had three of its men seriously injured after an attack on them by suspected smugglers in Ogun state on Thursday, November 23.
The injured officers were rushed to the hospital according to the area commander of the service in the state, Sanni Madugu.
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