A 16-year-old boy and seven other suspected smugglers have been apprehended in Calabar, Cross River, by the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Victory over the smuggling of 1,522 bags of foreign bags of rice.
The Commander, NNS Victory, Commodore Idi Abbas, disclosed to journalists during the parade on Wednesday, that the suspects were intercepted in two batches.
He disclosed that the first group of four men was arrested on Sunday with a large wooden boat containing 1,482 bags of foreign parboiled rice,
around Tom Short Island.
He further stated that the second group of four people was arrested on Sept. 28, adding that two fibre boats, containing 40 bags of foreign rice, suspected to have been smuggled from Cameroon, were discovered.
The confiscated items and eight suspects will be handed over to the Team Leader of Operation Border Drill for further investigations and prosecution, he stated.
He said the Nigerian Navy has been up and doing as part of patrol efforts not only to check smuggling but also to curb all forms of criminality within Nigeria’s waterways.
He said: “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,”.
The Superintendent of the Nigerian Customs Service, Chuks Ofilli, received the suspects and the items and said that the procedure of the service was to take the items confiscated to the government warehouse.
He added that the suspects would be handed over to the legal unit of the service for further actions.