Over 170 cartons of frozen turkey meat seized by men of the Nigerian Navy, attached to the Forward Operations Base (FOB) Badagry, have been handed over to officials of the Nigerian Customs for further investigation.
The Turkey which were loaded in five wooden boats were reportedly seized after the Naval operatives raided some criminal hideouts in the creeks of Badagry.
Speaking with journalists during the official handing over of the products to officials of the Nigerian Customs Services from the Western Marine section of the service, the Commander of the FOB, Captain Tamuno Senibo, said that his men intercepted the seized items along the Badagry waterways.
Captain Senibo said that on Wednesday, June 12, at about 1am, while his men were patrolling the creeks, they sighted some suspected smugglers and on sighting the naval men, the criminals jumped into the waters and swam away.
He further said that, “the action of my men goes to show that the fracas which originally existed between the military and para-military is now a thing of the past. The Harmonized Standard Operating Procedure (HSOP) recently launched by the president is working. It is based on that we went after the smugglers, seized their items and now we are handing over the seized items to the Nigeria Customs. Our role is to assist other government agencies at peace time.
“Yesterday, in a creek between Gbaji and Badagry, we intercepted five wooden boats that were used to convey about 170 cartons foreign frozen poultry products. What we have done is in line with the Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS) strategic guideline.
“Similarly, on March 20, 2018, we handed over 6,000 kg of weeds suspected to be cannabis allegedly being smuggled into Nigeria. The seized items were also handed over to officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for further investigation and prosecution. We also handed over 300 litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as petrol to operatives of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corp (NSCDC).
“My warning to criminal is for them to stay away from the country’s waterways, as there will no longer be any hiding place for criminals. They should turn a new leaf in their own interest,” he added.
Deputy Superintendent of Customs, Augustine Ajero, who led a team of Customs officers to take over the seized products, lauded the efforts of the Nigerian Navy.
He urged the naval men not to relent in their efforts but to go after the criminals, noting that smugglers can now identified patrol boats belonging to the service and that they tend to disappear each time they sighted the customs men.