Nigerian Navy Hands Over Seized Bags of Smuggled Rice To Customs In Badagry


The Nigerian Navy Forward Operating Base (FOB) in Badagry has successfully handed over the smuggled foreign parboiled rice to the Nigerian Custom Service in a significant operation against smuggling within its jurisdiction. 

On May 14, 2024, at approximately 2:35 AM, a patrol team intercepted several vehicles carrying the contraband, which was suspected to have been smuggled from Benin. The suspects fled upon sighting the patrol, leaving the rice behind.

Lieutenant Commander Bitrus Inuwa Zoaka, Base Operations Officer at FOB Badagry, officially handed over the seized rice to Deputy Comptroller of Customs Istifanus Musa in a formal ceremony yesterday. This action aligns with the Harmonized Standard Procedures on Arrest, Detention, and Prosecution (IISOP-AD&P) 2016.

The Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ikechukwu Ogalla, has emphasized the Navy's commitment to ensuring security and economic stability in the region through Operation WATER GUARD. Launched on November 9, 2023, by Rear Admiral Mustapha Bala Hassan, Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command, this operation aims to deny smugglers and other criminals freedom of action in the area.

Captain Bitebobo Augustus Amakiri, Commanding Officer of FOB Badagry, highlighted that these efforts are part of the CNS Strategic Directive 2023-6, which focuses on maintaining a safe operational environment in Nigeria and the Gulf of Guinea.

Deputy Comptroller of Customs Musa expressed gratitude to the Nigerian Navy for their cooperation. "This seizure is a testament to the strong working

Navy for their cooperation. "This seizure is a testament to the strong working relationship between the Nigerian Navy and the Nigerian Customs Service. It sends a clear message to smugglers that they have no hiding place when government agencies collaborate," Musa stated.

Lt. Commander Zoka, Base Operating Officer at FOB Badagry, explained that the patrol team had to act quickly when the smugglers abandoned their vehicles. "The Navy is vigilant both on land and water, ensuring there is no escape for smugglers," he said. "Our collaboration with Customs is crucial in tackling smuggling and ensuring national security."

The Nigerian Navy and Nigerian Customs Service reaffirmed their commitment to ongoing cooperation, enhancing patrols, and strengthening security measures to curb smuggling and other illegal activities.

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