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Nigerian navy intercept bags of smuggled rice in Akwa-Ibom amid Russian invasion of Ukraine

The Commanding Officer, Nigerian Navy, Forward Operating Base (FOB), Ibaka, Mbo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom, Muhammed Kabiru, said Navy has impounded 40 bags of smuggled rice as well as the boat used in smuggling the rice.

Kabiru in a statement on Wednesday, said the bags of rice were seized on Feb. 15 during routine patrol operations.

He noted that no arrest was made since the smugglers on sighting the naval patrol team abandoned the rice and the boat and fled.

The commanding officer said that the seizure was based on the directives of the Chief of Naval Staff Vice Adm. Auwul Gambo, of zero tolerance to all forms of criminalities on Nigeria maritime domain, particularly smuggling of rice and crude oil theft.

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He said, “We came across a boat suspected to be a smuggling boat upon sighting our gunboat the crew jumped into the water and swam to the nearby creek, thereby escaping arrest.

“We have no option but to tow the boat to the base. The boat is here at the jetty with the outboard engine, the contents of the boat have been discharged, which include 40 bags of 50kg rice,” he said.

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He, however, handed the seized items to Superintendent Kikems Danbana of Nigeria Customs Service, Joint Border Patrol Team, Oron axis for further investigation and prosecution and warned perpetrators to desist from smuggling.

Receiving the seized items on behalf of Nigerian Custom Service, Mr Danbana, Officer in Charge of Oron Axis, Joint Border Patrol Team said the custom would do everything possible to stop smuggling in the country.

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