Men of the Nigerian Navy Ship Victory in Calabar, Cross River State, said they have arrested 14 suspected smugglers of rice and Premium Motor Spirit.
Three Cameroonians and five Nigerians were reportedly arrested for smuggling PMS from Nigeria to Cameroon, while six suspects were arrested for smuggling rice.
The Commander, NNS Victory, Commodore Vincent Okeke, who addressed reporters at the NNS Victory Jetty in Calabar, disclosed that the 107 drums of PMS seized from the suspects were worth about N6m.
Okeke also handed over 357 bags of rice worth N7m and six suspects to officials of the Nigeria Customs Service.
“We are handing over the rice to Customs today. The PMS and suspects are undergoing investigation. We will hand over when we finish investigation. We will not give up. We will make sure we run them out of business. The economic impacts of their activities are too numerous to be enumerated.“The rice they are importing is killing the business of agriculture in this country. All the efforts of the Federal Government to diversify the economy are being sabotaged.
“On the issue of the PMS, the government brings in PMS at a subsidised rate to the public, meanwhile some people still ferry out this PMS to neighbouring countries.“You can now understand why nobody can comprehend the daily consumption rate being put out. It is obvious now that these products are being smuggled out of the country. So, it is my duty to make sure that this is curtailed forthwith. The smugglers have to look for legitimate business to do.”