The Nigerian Navy has intercepted suspected smugglers on the Cross River State waterways, with 692 bags of foreign rice and 181 drums of Premium Motor Spirit or petrol.

Five suspects arrested aboard four boats on two separate occasions are all Nigerians: Clement Okon Chali, Michael Ita Effiong, Felix Sunday, Aniefiok Effiong and Sunday Etim Bassey.

Speaking while handing the suspects and the items over to the Customs, the Commander of the Nigerian Navy Ship Victory, Rear Admiral Vincent Okeke put the street value of the goods at about N75.3million, adding that the ceased items were loaded from Cameroon and destined for Oron in Akwa Ibom.

Okeke said, “On Sunday 19 January 2020, NNS Victory patrol team arrested five suspects and four medium-sized wooden boats around Calabar Fairway Buoy and Tom Shot Island.

“Two of the boats were laden with bags of foreign parboiled rice suspected to be smuggled from Cameroon while the remaining two were laden with drums of PMS.

“The boats and five crew members were escorted to the base and 692 bags of different foreign rice brands and 181 drums of PMS were recovered.”

Speaking while receiving the suspects and goods, the Customs Team Leader Ali Madaki said the suspects will be handed over to the legal department for prosecution.

On the seized goods, he said that they will be kept at the government warehouse pending further directives from headquarters.


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