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Navy arrests 81 foreign smugglers, 7 stowaways

By Oladapo Udom

The Commander, Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) BEECROFT, Rear Adm. Bashir Mohammed, on Tuesday said that 81 smugglers of contrabands and 7 stowaways had been arrested in the last four months.

Mohammed said this through Lt.-Cdr. Adetayo Adesokan, NNS BEECROFT’s  Base Operations Officer, who represented him at a press parley at NNS BEECROFT.

The commander noted that a worrisome trend of foreigners smuggling contrabands into Nigeria’s territorial waters had been observed.

“The names and origin of the country of the foreigners will not be disclosed for diplomatic reasons,” he said.

Mohammed also said that 20 foreigners in two large wooden boats conveying over 268 bags of cannabis worth over N120 million locally were recently intercepted by the navy.

“In the last four months, about 81 foreigners have been arrested for smuggling various contraband including cocaine, cannabis, rice and petroleum products among others.

“There is a Nexis between the smuggling and proliferation of hard drugs and crime in Nigeria.

“However, these series of arrests made by the Nigeria Navy will continuously reinforce the navies resolve to clamp down on all acts of illegalities,” he said.

Mohammed said that seven stowaways were intercepted from MV Chesapeake-Bay on Jan. 21 at Tin Can Island

“The stowaways were attempting to get away from the country and entered the ship through the rudder department of the vessel.

“This is a call to all citizens to note that there are legitimate processes of leaving the country and all must strive to follow that legitimate process.

“The navy will not relent in its effort to continue to rid the maritime domain of all criminal elements under the guidance of the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) Vice Adm. Awwal Gambo,” Mohammed said.

The commander said that the smugglers would be handed over to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) while the stowaways would be handed over to the Nigeria Police.


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