Operatives of the Nigerian Navy (NN) have arrested five wooden boats allegedly carrying 170 cartons of suspected smuggled turkey.
The arrests followed a raid of creeks between Gbaji and Badagry by operatives attached to the Forward Operations Base (FOB) in Badagry.
It was gathered that the frozen turkeys which were carefully concealed in the boats, were being smuggled into Nigeria from Benin Republic
Handing over the intercepted boats and products to officials from Western Marine, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), the FOB Commander Captain Tamuno Senibo said they were seized along the Badagry waterways around 1am while naval men were on patrol.
Senibo said that on sighting the naval men, the criminals jumped into the water and swam away.
“The action of my men goes to show that the fracas which originally existed between the military and paramilitary is now a thing of the past. The Harmonized Standard Operating Procedure (HSOP) recently launched by the President is working.
“It is based on that we went after the smugglers, seized their items and now we are handing over the seized items to Customs in line with our roles to assist other government agencies at peacetime.
“Similarly, on March 20, last year, we handed over 6000kg of weeds suspected to be cannabis allegedly being smuggled into Nigeria. The seized items were also handed over to officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for further investigation and prosecution.
“We also handed over 300 litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as petrol to operatives of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corp (NSCDC).
“My advice to criminal is for them to stay away from the country’s waterways, as there will no longer be any hiding place for criminals. They should turn a new leaf in their own interest.”
Deputy Superintendent of Customs, Augustine Ajero who led a team of officers to take over the seized products urged the naval men not to relent.
He appealed to them to go after the criminals because smugglers now know patrol boats belonging to NCS Marine and usually disappeared whenever they sighted them.