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Navy arrests 9 suspects over oil bunkering, smuggling

The Nigerian Navy, Forward Operating Base (FOB), Ibaka, Mbo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State has arrested four suspected hoodlums and five suspected smugglers.…

The Nigerian Navy, Forward Operating Base (FOB), Ibaka, Mbo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State has arrested four suspected hoodlums and five suspected smugglers.

The suspected hoodlums, Nsidebe Monday, 26; David Etim, 31; Oto Bassey, 29, and Benjamin Abia, 40, and the suspected smugglers, Asuquo Etim, 42; Victor Okon, 26; Nsika Okon, 22; Godwin Asuquo, 19; and Esio Okpohobia, 20, were subsequently handed over to the Nigeria Customs Service and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).

The commanding officer of FOB, Captain Yusuf Idris, said the base on Saturday also seized boats, outboard engines, and 62 drums of automotive gas oil as they were being moved in a wooden boat from Rivers State into Akwa Ibom waterway.

He added that the FOB also seized 271 bags of illegally imported rice from Cameroon during a routine sea patrol at Parrot Island in Mbo LGA.

One of the suspects, Monday, said they arrived Akwa Ibom from Ifoko in Rivers State, where they bought the product at N7,000 per drum. He explained that on their way back to Calabar, the navy in Akwa Ibom arrested them.

He said, “The navy asked us where we were taking the product to and we told them that we were taking them to Calabar. Where we bought the product is a reservoir. We bought each drum for N7,000. We did not steal them, we bought them for resale.”

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