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Navy Seizes N50m Worth Of Contraband Rice

Men of the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Victory in Calabar have arrested a large wooden boat laden with 2, 860 bags of contraband foreign rice, worth over N50 million naira, as well as five suspects.

Commander, NNS Victory, Commodore Julius Nwagu, who paraded the suspects and seized items in Calabar Wednesday, said the arrest was made along the Calabar Channel by the anti-smuggling patrol of the base when they got intelligence reports about the activities of the suspected smugglers.

Nwagu, who was represented by the Executive Officer of NNS Victory, Navy Captain Babafemi Ajayi, said the boat was suspected to have come in Cameroon and headed for Calabar.

He said, “The boat was hidden with the intention that when it is dark, then they can use smaller boats to evacuate the products into their warehouse in Calabar. We stationed our patrolmen in that particular area and luckily we saw the five men when they wanted to carry out their assignment. They were arrested and further findings revealed their warehouse which when we got there, we discovered the consignments. So we evacuated everything here and escorted the boat to NNS Victory jetty.

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“Totally we evacuated 2860 bags of foreign rice. In compliance to the extant rules everything has to be handed over to the Nigerian Customs Service for further prosecution.

“We warn all smugglers to desist. The money wasted on this is a great loss and the Navy is bent is on ensuring that problem is stopped in the country. We implore these people to look for something else to do instead of this because it would not get them anywhere. We are resolved that we shall not allow this to persist within our area of responsibility. They would be the losers at the end.”

Assistant Controller of Customs, Omachi Joshua, representing the Eastern Marine Command based in Calabar, who received the items and suspects said the items would take to the government warehouse and the suspects would be prosecuted according to laid down rules.

“The bags of rice are subsequently forfeited to the Federal Government and they would take the matter to court for condemnation and whatever the government issues is what we would follow,” he said.

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