Nigerian Navy arrests five with 405 bags of contraband rice
London, July 20, 2018 (AltAfrica)-Men of the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Victory in Calabar have arrested a large wooden boat laden with 405 bags of contraband foreign rice, worth over N6 million naira, as well as five suspects.
Commander, NNS Victory, Commodore Julius Nwagu, who paraded the suspects and seized items in Calabar on Friday, said the arrest was made along the Calabar Channel.
Nwagu said the boat was coming in from Cameroon.
He said the Nigerian Navy is committed to the Federal Government’s policy on locally produced rice.
“The Federal Government has said there will be no importation of rice again to encourage local farmers and local production of rice. We have the land and everything it takes to produce our own rice. But some elements that do not support Federal Government policy are hellbent on smuggling.
“The Nigerian Navy being a promoter of our national interest, we are all out to ensure the policies are adhered to especially the issue of importation of rice. I want to emphasize that we are not going to relent in our efforts in ensuring that any smuggled item through our waters is caught.
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.