The Nigerian Navy Ship, NNS Victory, says its patrol team intercepted a wooden boat laden with 144 drums of petroleum product suspected to be illegally refined AGO in Cross Rivers State.
The suspects were rounded up by a routine patrol team around Agbana West by Tom Shot Island Breakwaters along the Cross River State waterways.
Commander of the NNS Victory team, Rear Admiral Vincent Okeke, disclosed this while handing over the suspects to Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in Calabar.
He mentioned the suspects as, one Cameroonian, simply identified as Daniel Nekoli and three Nigerians, namely Emma Effiong, Victor Okon and Kingsley Etim.
Rear Admiral Okeke who was represented by Captain Muhammad Umaru, told newsmen that the suspects were escorted to the naval base in Calabar with their boat and upon arrival at the jetty, the 144 drums of illegally refined AGO were offloaded from the boat.
The naval authority put the total market value of the seized items at N15, 504, 000 and noted that they are well aware of the desperation of smugglers to bring contraband into the country within the yuletide season for personal economic gains.
It noted that within the last 8 weeks, the NNSVictory base has recorded 9 major arrests of contraband items worth over N236, 236, 000 adding that the Base has intensified patrols to curb the heightened rate of smuggling or any other nefarious crimes both on water and the adjoining land areas.
The Commandant of Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in Cross River State, Danladi Elisha took delivery of the four suspects and items.
He promised to do due diligence in terms of further investigation and subsequent prosecution.