Hammed Shittu in Ilorin
A combined team of men of the Navy, Police and Customs in Kwara State have arrested 24 people in connection with smuggling of 850 bags of rice that weighed 50 kilogram each from Benin Republic into Nigeria.
The State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Kayode Egbetokun, stated this in Ilorin over the weekend while addressing newsmen at the State Police Command, Ilorin-Jebba-Mokwa.
Egbetokun disclosed that naval officers of the Navy School of Health Sciences affected the arrest of 15 drivers transporting the smuggled rice in various vehicles in Offa and handed them over to the police. However, further investigations conducted by the police led to arrest of the remaining nine suspects that were alleged to be the owners of the impounded rice.
He alleged that the suspects confessed that they smuggled the rice from Cotonou in Benin Republic into Nigeria.
The police boss, who spoke with newsmen at the State Police Headquarters in Ilorin in company of officers of the Nigerian Customs Service, said that the police had concluded their investigation and would hand over the suspects and the impounded goods to the Customs for further investigations.
Chief Superintendent of Customs, Adamu Yahaya, thanked the police and the naval personnels for the arrests and assured that the customs would judiciously carry out its own assignment on the matter.