Illicit drugs including cocaine, heroin and cannabis weighing 37.3kilograms have been intercepted and seized on five different occasions, and seven persons arrested by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
The drug traffickers were trying to either import into Nigeria or export to the United Kingdom and Italy.
NDLEA’s Director of Media and Advocacy, Mr. Femi Babafemi, gave the hint in a statement issued, in Abuja, on Sunday.
The first attempt to bring into Nigeria 76 pellets of cocaine weighing 1.150kg was made by Agudozie Peter Ihie on May 25, 2021.
He was arrested during the inward security clearance of passengers on Qatar airline from Kenya, at the E-arrival Hall of Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos State.
Babafemi said, “At the point of arrest, he was found in possession 36 pellets of cocaine concealed in his pants. While under observation, he excreted additional 40 pellets.
“During preliminary interrogation, he confessed to having swallowed the drugs in Nairobi but became pressed during the transit period in Doha and excreted some wraps on board the aircraft en route to Lagos.
“Barely two hours after the arrest of Agudozie Peter Ihie for cocaine ingestion, NDLEA operatives at the SAHCO export shed of the Lagos Airport also intercepted 4.2 kilograms of heroin bound for Italy. Two freight forwarders have been arrested in connection to the seizure.
“During the preliminary interview, one of the suspects stated that the consignment belongs to one of his customers based in Italy and that it was sent to him from Benin, Edo state through a transport company.
On May 26, 2021, during inward security clearance of passengers on Qatar airline from Doha, NDLEA operatives at the E-arrival Hall of the airport also arrested one Nnakaihe Ikechukwu (a.k.a Peprah Livinus) with 600 grams of cocaine. The illicit drug was cleverly concealed inside Ankara dress buttons.
The suspect who hails from Imo State, however, fraudulently obtained a Ghanaian passport using Peprah Livinus as his name. He is suspected to be a member of some of the illicit drug trafficking groups with multiple passports bearing different names in order to evade detection by security agencies.”
The NDLEA said on the same date, its operatives at the SAHCO export shed of MMIA intercepted 30.150kg of Cannabis Sativa heading to Manchester in the United Kingdom via British Airways and arrested one Chika Anyanwu who is a cargo bag stitcher in connection to the bid.
The drug was said to have been neatly concealed inside 30 pieces of bankus palm nut cream tin (banga soup) after emptying the real content.
Anyanwu, in his confessional statement, reportedly admitted to having been contracted by one of his customers based in Manchester and had negotiated with him for the sum of one million naira but was paid only N700,000.
The NDLEA statement reads, “On Thursday, June 3, 2021, operatives equally intercepted 11 parcels of heroin weighing 1.2kg concealed in eleven packs of Indomie noodles at NAHCO export shed of the Lagos Airport. The drug was to go with Ethiopian Airlines to Malaysia via Addis-Ababa.
“A freight agent and an errand boy for the owner of the exhibit have been arrested in connection to the failed bid.”
Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohammed Buba Marwa (rtd.), commended the Commander, Ahmadu Garba, officers and men of the airport Command for their tenacity and commitment to the mandate of ridding the nation of illicit drugs.
He charged them to remain unrelenting and always watch out for the disingenuous modes of concealment traffickers employ to beat detection.