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The Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Victory, Calabar, has arrested eight persons for smuggling in 1, 522 bags of foreign rice.
The command also impounded two wooden boats along Tom Shott Island.
Parading the suspects in Calabar on Wednesday, the Commander, NNS Victory, Commodore Idi Abbas, said the smugglers were intercepted in two batches including 1, 522 bags of foreign bags of rice.
Abbas said the first group of four men were arrested on Sunday around Tom Short Island with a large wooden boat containing 1482 bags of foreign parboiled rice.
He said that the second group of four persons were arrested with two fibre boats containing 40 bags of foreign rice, suspected to have been smuggled from Cameroon.
According to him, “in line with the extant regulations, the confiscated items and eight suspected smugglers are hereby handed over to the Team Leader of Operation Border Drill for further investigation and prosecution.
“We have been up and doing as part of our patrol effort not only to check smuggling but also curb all forms of criminality within our waterways.
“We are aware that most times when kidnapping is carried out, the fastest way for them to escape is through the creeks, so we have placed our boats at vantage positions that you cannot go into the sea without being seen.
“We all know that times are hard but no matter how hard times are, there are other ways of earning a living legitimately,” he said.
Speaking to journalists during the parade in Calabar,
the Commander, NNS Victory, Commodore Idi Abbas, disclosed that the smugglers were intercepted in two batches.
Speaking shortly after receiving the suspects and items, the Superintendent of the Nigerian Customs Service, Chuks Ofilli, said the procedure of the service was to take the items confiscated to the government warehouse while the suspects would be handed over to the legal unit.