The Nigerian Navy Forward Operating Base (FOB) at Ibaka, Mbo Council of Akwa Ibom State, has warned those involved in criminal activities to desist immediately.
The warning was issued by FOB Commander, Captain Muhammed Kabiru when handing over 40 sacks of rice seized at the Nigerian Customs Service at Ibaka yesterday.
Kabiru said 40 sacks of rice were seized from smugglers on February 15 during routine patrol operations by the forward operating base, adding that the smugglers abandoned the rice and the boat upon sighting the team of naval patrol.
He pointed out that the base would not hesitate to put an end to illegalities on the waterways of Akwa Ibom and that they had seized 40 bags of smuggled rice and seized the boat used for smuggling the rice.
The commander said the seizure was based on the directives of the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Auwul Gambo, on zero tolerance to all forms of crime on Nigeria’s maritime domain, especially the rice smuggling and crude oil theft.
“Officers and men from Forward Operating Base Ibaka, on February 15, 2022 at approximately 6:00 p.m., during our usual patrol to eliminate all forms of illegalities in our areas of responsibility, came across a boat suspected of ‘to be a smuggling boat.’ On sighting our gunboat, the crew jumped into the water and swam to the nearby creek, thus escaping arrest.
“We have no choice but to tow the boat back to base; the boat is here at the pier with the outboard motor, the contents of the boat have been unloaded, i.e. 40 50kg bags of rice are here.
“Thus, Captain Muhammad Kabiru, Commander of FOB Ibaka, on behalf of the officers and men of FOB Ibaka, hereby hand over the contents of the boat, 40 bags of rice of 50 kg, to Superintendent Kikems Danbana of the Nigeria Customs Service, Joint Border Patrol Team, Oron Axis for further investigation and possible prosecution,” Muhammed said.
Receiving the bags of rice on behalf of the Nigerian Customs Service, Mr. Kikems Danbana, Officer in Charge of Oron Axis, Joint Border Patrol Team, said Customs would do everything possible to stop smuggling into the country.
Danbana urged smugglers to desist from illegal trade, stressing that the NCS would continue to monitor any economic sabotage in the country.