The Nigerian Navy on Thursday paraded some alleged illicit drug traffickers, foreign rice smugglers and illegal dealers in oil bunkering.
Rear Admiral Bashir Mohammed, the Commander of the NNS BEECROFT, disclosed this while parading the suspects in Lagos.
He warned those he described as economic saboteurs to take their activities off Nigerian waterways.
“We arrested some suspected criminals involved in different kinds of crime. This includes illegal bunkering of petroleum products, movement of cannabis popularly known as Indian hemp, and smuggling of rice,” Mohammed said.
The 413 bags of foreign rice is estimated to be worth over N13 million, while the cannabis bagged in 261 large sacs, is estimated to be worth N100 million.
The suspected oil bunkers, the naval commander stated, were arrested with 125 drums each with 250 litres capacity of the Petroleum Motor Spirit, otherwise known as petrol.
Real Admiral Mohammed said the petroleum products estimated to take about three tankers could be dangerous to car engines.
“You have a large quantity of foreign rice smuggled into Nigeria using boats. We have over 400 bags. We are very serious about the rice issue because of the Federal Government’s economic policy on the non-importation of rice and we are to produce our own rice. So these are economic saboteurs.
“One of the most disturbing aspects of it is that most of them are foreigners from our neighbouring countries who come into this country and be involved in this heinous crime,” he added.
The naval officer promised to hand over the goods and suspects to the relevant agencies – the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), and the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) for necessary action.
“NNS BEECROFT will not tolerate any act of crime in our water,” he warned. “Anyone involved will be brought to book.”
All the suspects paraded are said to be arrested during the yuletide.
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