By OKOSUN DENNIS
Nigerian Navy personnel attached to Forward Operation Base (FOB), Badagry, have intercepted a wooden boat being used to ferry 80 bags of rice into Nigeria.
National Daily gathered that the bags of rice were being smuggled into the country from Benin Republic through water ways before they were intercepted by the patrol team at Iyana-Ipaahi water ways around the Badagry creeks.
While handing over the seized bags of rice to the personnel of the Nigerian Customs, the Commanding Officer of the Forward Operation Base, Badagry, Navy Captain Abdulhakeem Olushina Ojebode explained that the smugglers fled and abandoned the boat when they sighted naval personnel patrol team.
National Daily further gathered that the occupants of the boats jumped into the river on sighting the Navy Patrol Vessel, abandoning the boats and its content.
His words: “This operation goes in line with the roles of the Navy to protect the territorial waters of Nigeria and in supporting the Nigerian Customs in her duty of ensuring that smugglers don’t use our waterways to bring items adjudged to be contraband into Nigeria.
“My officers will not rest but put in more effort in the fight against smuggling in the country so as to checkmate their vices.
The Deputy Comptroller Enforcement Western Marine Command, of the Nigerian Customs, Mr Usman Abubakar, who was handed the rice, commended the efforts of the Nigerian navy in checking criminality on the nation’s water ways, saying that the effectiveness of the navy’s intelligence gathering galvanised into the seizure.
Sounding a note of warning to smugglers, Abubakar warned smugglers to sheath their swords and desist from sabotaging the efforts of the government in reshaping the economic, saying his command would not relent in dealing with persons who decide to test the will of the customs and other security agencies.