By GEORGE ODOK
CALABAR- The operatives of Nigerian Navy Ship Victory (NNSV) has handed over 252 bags of intercepted smuggled imported rice to the Nigeria Custom Service (NCS) on Monday in Calabar.
Base Operations Officer of NNSV, Lt. Commander Clement Ayogu, who handed over the rice to the NCS at the Navy jetty, said the operation was carried out on April 16.
Ayogu said that the hand over was done on behalf of the Commander of NNSV, Commodore Ifeanyi Okpala, as directed by the Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Naval Command of the Nigerian Navy, Rear Adm. Ibrahim Dewu.
He said that the bags of rice, worth over N9million, were intercepted off the Calabar Fairway buoy in Ebugu creeks.
“On sigh ting our gun boat, the perpetrators ran away. After thorough investigation on the matter, we are handing over the 252 bags of rice to the Nigeria Customs Service.
“The Nigeria Customs Service has the prosecuting right for these items, that’s why we are handing over the items to them.
“I want to warn the perpetrators of this illegal act to desist from it because the Nigerian Navy is ever ready to arrest them at any time,” he said.
Deputy Comptroller of NCS, Mr Mustapha Kaliel, who received the items from the Navy, commended them for always sanitizing the maritime environment from all illegal acts.
Similarly, the Commander also handed over 24 drums of suspected adulterated Premium Motor Spirit containing over 2,700 litres.
He said that the product was arrested on April 16 by personnel of the NNSV at Ebugu creeks.
He also said that the perpetrators ran away after sighting the Navy’s gun boat approaching them.
Mr Solomon Eremi, Public Relations Officer of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in Cross River, received the product on behalf of the State Commandant of NSCDC, Mr Samuel Fadeyi.
He thanked the Navy for their effort and synergy and for always recognizing NSCDC as a critical player in the fight against adulterated petroleum product in the country. (NAN)