The Nigerian Navy, Forward Operating Base, Ibaka in Mbo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, has apprehended three Cameroonians and a Nigerian with 66 drums containing 250 litres each of product suspected to be Premium Motor Spirit.
The suspects include Kokah Ekema, 38; Money Francis, 27; Nako Otto, 25; and a Nigerian, Who-Knows Nya, 30 years.
The Commanding Officer of the base, Navy Captain Siyanbade Adedokun, who paraded the suspects before journalists in Ibaka on Tuesday, said one Cotonou wooden boat equipped with two 40 horsepower outboard engines had also been seized from the suspects.
Adedokun stated that all the suspects would be handed over to the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps.
“We have arrested three Cameroonians and one Nigerian with 66 drums of 250 litres of product suspected to be Premium Motor Spirit. All the suspects will be handed over to the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps.
“The more we patrol, the more we make the maritime environment safe for legitimate business to thrive and at the same time we try to patrol our waterways, basically concerning the strategic nature of the base, just very close to an international water.
“It is a very strategic place to police so that we won’t have people from neighbouring countries coming to perpetrate illegality in the country,” he said.
Adelakun, who frowned at the sabotaging manner exhibited by the criminals regarding the economy, added that the Navy’s standard strategy would not allow them any breathing space.
He, however, attributed the success recorded to frequent patrol of the nation’s waterways and creeks, based on credible information.
The state commandant of the NSCDC, Obiajulu Obiageli, who received the suspects from the Navy, praised the commanding officer for working hard to protect the territorial integrity of the country.
She noted that the trend would also sustain business activities in the maritime sector.
Obiageli, who was represented by the Chief Inspector of the corps, Victor Uweh, assured the Navy that the corps would carry out its statutory mandate by investigating the suspects.
She noted that if the suspects are found culpable, they would face the wrath of the law.