Judex Okoro, Calabar
The Nigerian Navy Ship Victory have arrested seven suspects and impounded 432 drums of illegally refined AG0 – diesel.
The seven suspects were apprehended aboard a wooden boat at Agbana West point by Tom Shot Island in Akwa Ibom State and were headed for Cameroon.
The suspects include one Felix Owoyemi, Adesoji Omojoye, Oyong Etim Asuquo, Dominic Effiong Essien, Goodnews Effiong James, Ene Ekpenyong Nyong and Dennis John.
Speaking while handing over the suspects to the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps, NSCDC, for prosecution, the Commander of the Nigerian Navy Ship Victory, Rear Admiral Vincent Okeke, said the command will remain resolute in enforcing the mandate of the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral IE Ibas.
He said: “On Saturday, December 7, 2019, NNS Victory patrol team intercepted a wooden boat with drums of products suspected to be illegally refined AGO together with a crew of 7 at Agbana West Point Tom Shot Island with a total of 432 drums of illegally refined AGO.
“The seizures have a market value of about sixty three million five hundred and twelve thousand naira (N63, 512,000). NNS Victory is well aware of the desperation of smugglers to bring in contraband goods ahead of the Christmas and New Year festivities for personal gains.
“This is indicated by the four major arrests we have carried out within the last six weeks during which goods worth over one hundred and fifty-six million eight hundred and forty-nine naira (156,840.00) were seized.
“The base has mapped out further modalities to deal decisively with anyone in the web of smuggling or any other nefarious crimes as the NNS Victory remains resolute to enforce the mandate of the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral IE Ibas to rid the maritime domain of all vices”, he said.
According to him, the practice has adverse effects on the nation’s economic growth and prosperity and called on all those who perpetuate these vices to desist from it.
Speaking while receiving the suspects, Stanley Eboh, a Deputy Commandant with the NSCDC, said the suspects will face the full weight of the law.
He said he has been informed that one of the suspects was convicted last year but he has returned to the vice, adding that the service will not relent in its drive to end all forms of economic sabotage.