Rear Admiral Matthew Emukper, Flag Officer Commander, Eastern Naval Command (ENC), Nigerian Navy, said that over the past seven months the team has seized more than 13,803 sacks of contraband rice valued at $ 228 million.
Emukper reported this on Tuesday in Calabar during the transfer of command leadership to his successor, Rear Admiral David Adeniran.
He said that the rice was confiscated due to the constant patrolling of the maritime area by the team's personnel.
According to him, the operation to combat smuggling was conducted in accordance with the policy of President Muhammad Bukhari to strengthen and develop local rice production.
"With joy, over the past seven months we have been able to achieve some of our goals because of the many problems.
"To a large extent, we have successfully coped with the illegal bunker, the theft of crude oil, smuggling, human trafficking, piracy and sea robbery in Aqua Ibom, a cross river and rivers that are under command.
"During this period, the team seized more than 13 803 sacks of imported rice worth 212.8 million US dollars for N16,000 per bag and several contraband.
"This was made possible by the continuous deployment of various platforms within the command area of responsibility throughout my entire stay as the Flag Officer Command (FOC).
"During this period, the team was able to close more than 150 illegal oil refineries as a result of prolonged exploitation, and more than 90 suspects were arrested for various crimes at sea," he said.
Having received the flag of the leadership, the new FLC, Adeniran, thanked Emukper for his dynamic leadership in improving staff welfare and protecting the maritime sector.
"I want to pay tribute to the former FOP for its commitment to development in the team, and to encourage the officers and people of this team to provide me with the necessary support for the advancement of the Nigerian fleet.
"Our goal is to combat all forms of illegality to ensure that our maritime region is safe for business to thrive.
"We are military, we are not involved in politics or activities in social networks," he said.
The NAN reports that Emuekpere was deployed to the Navy headquarters in Abuja as head of the administration.