Navy Troops Intercept 2 Boats With 894 Bags of Foreign Rice

The anti-smuggling team of the Nigerian Navy (NN) troops deployed to Forward Operating Base IBAKA have intercepted a medium size wooden boat laden filled with 293 bags of 50kg foreign parboiled rice, and also arrested 4 suspects.

According to Brigadier General Bernard Onyeuko, Acting Director of the Directorate of Defence Media Operations (DDMO) at the Defence Headquarters (DHQ), the troops also recovered two 90hp and two 40hp outboard engines, as well as four pumping machines, during the operation.

Onyeuko, in a statement, further disclosed that the NN Ship VICTORY anti- smuggling team, equally arrested a wooden boat laden with about 601 bags of 50kg foreign rice suspected to be smuggled from the Republic of Cameroon by four smugglers at Agbami Platform.

He said the items recovered and suspects were handed over to the Department of Marine Police, Calabar, for further investigations and possible prosecution.

He noted that the successes were recorded in the ongoing Operations CALM WATERS and SWIFT RESPONSE coordinated by NN.

Meanwhile, the DDMO spokesperson, said following the cancellation of Exercise OBANGAME EXPRESS 2020, which was scheduled to hold from 21 – 26 Mar 20 due to the global spread of COVID-19 pandemic, Exercise TREASURE GUARD II was reactivated on 21 Mar 20 with the same objective.

“The exercise was activated at the Western Naval Command. The objective of the exercise was to assess the operational readiness of the Western Naval Command, fleet and bases.

“To practice the Western Naval Command Fleet in tactical manoeuvres and anti-piracy operation as well as enhancing effective collaboration and operation ability between maritime law enforcement agencies amongst others,” he added.

Brig. Gen. Onyeuko, explained that a total of six ships namely Nigerian Navy Ships THUNDER, NGURU, DORINA, ANDONI, TUG DOLPHIN RIMA and TUG COMMANDER UGWU, participated in the exercise.

He said: “Furthermore, the Forward Operating Bases within Western Naval Command Area of Responsibility, 2 Nigerian Navy Agusta Helicopters, 2 Detachment of Special Boat Service and several boats, as well as some maritime law enforcement agencies participated in the exercise.

“During the exercise, several tasks and simulations were carried out. These include interrogation of Vessels of Interest, Maritime Interdiction Operation, Visit Board Search and Seizure, Anti-piracy and Casuality Evacuation amongst others.

“The exercise was deactivated on 23 Mar 20 after a debrief and wash down onboard NNS THUNDER. As a resemblance of Exercise OBANGAME EXPRESS that involves foreign navies, the successful conduct of Exercise Treasure Guard 2 is a pointer that the Nigerian Armed Forces can successfully plan and organise regional exercises similar to Exercise OBANGAME EXPRESS.”

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