Judex Okoro, Calabar
The enforce the border closure seems to be yielding positive results as the Nigerian Navy Ship Victory NNSV, have arrested 7 suspects.
The Navy also impounded 1, 221 bags of foreign rice.
The suspects, whose names were given as Austine Ataejit, Napoleon Sanamy, Daniel Effiong Bassey, Inioyekenimo Sanugba, Bright Bassey Okon, Victory Edet Ita-as well as Nathaniel Jonathan are all Nigerians, were arrested on Saturday, October 26, 2019 with a wooden boat while transiting from Cameroon to Akwa Ibom State.
Speaking, while handing over the suspects and bags of rice to officers of the Nigerian Customs Service for further investigations and prosecution, the Commander of the NNS Victory, Commodore Vincent Okeke, said the value of the rice is about N34m and added that the Command has so far recovered over N300m worth of rice this year.
“On Saturday, October 26, 2019, at about 0500, NNS Victory patrol team intercepted a wooden boat laden with 1, 221 bags of foreign rice suspected to have been smuggled into the Nigerian Territorial waters from Cameroon.
“The boat had 7 all Nigerian crew members and was intercepted offshore Ibaka. The 7 suspects, 1221 bags of rice and one wooden boat would be handed over to the Task Force Leader, Operation Swift Response Calabar area for further investigation,” he stated.
He warned smugglers to desist from acts of criminalities especially within NNS Victory Area of Operation as the Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral I E Ibas has zero-tolerance for any form of criminalities or vices in our maritime domain.
Speaking on behalf of Border Drill (comprising all security agencies) a Deputy Superintendent of Customs, Sanusi Barade, commended the Nigerian Navy for their courage, and understanding they have with sister agencies stressing that further investigations will be conducted and the suspects prosecuted.