Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have intercepted illicit drugs, including cocaine, heroin and cannabis weighing 37.3kilogrammes, seized in five different bids while seven persons were arrested.
The first attempt to bring into Nigeria 76 pellets of cocaine weighing 1.150kg was made by Agudozie Peter Ihie on May 25, 2021, but was arrested during inward security clearance of passengers on Qatar Airline from Kenya, at the E-arrival hall of Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos.
According to NDLEA spokesman, Femi Babafemi, “At the point of arrest, he was found in possession of 36 pellets of cocaine concealed in his pants. While under observation, he excreted additional 40 pellets.
“During preliminary interrogation, he confessed to have swallowed the drugs in Nairobi, but became pressed during the transit period in Doha and excreted some wraps onboard the aircraft enroute Lagos.
“Barely two hours after the arrest of Ihie for cocaine ingestion, NDLEA operatives at the SAHCO export shed of the Lagos Airport also intercepted 4.2 kilogrammes of heroin bound for Italy. Two freight forwarders have been arrested in connection to the seizure.
“During preliminary interview, one of the suspects stated that the consignment belonged to one of his customers based in Italy, and that it was sent to him from Benin, Edo State, through a transport company.”
Also 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, also known as Peprah Livinus, with 600 grammes of cocaine. The illicit drug was 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.
“On the same date, NDLEA operatives at the NAHCO export shed of MMIA intercepted 30.150kgs of cannabis sativa heading to Manchester in the United Kingdom via British Airways and arrested one Anyanwu Chika, who is a cargo bag maker in connection to the bid. The drug was concealed inside 30 pieces of bankus palm nut cream tin (banga soup) after emptying the real content.”
In his confessional statement, he admitted to have 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.
On Thursday, June 3, 2021, operatives equally intercepted 11 parcels of heroin weighing 1.2kgs concealed in 11 packs of noodles at SAHCO export shed of the Lagos Airport. The drug was to go with Ethiopian Airline to Malaysia via Addis-Ababa. A freight agent and an errand boy for the owner of the exhibit were arrested in connection to the foiled bid.
Reacting to the latest arrests and seizures at the MMIA, Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Mohamed Buba Marwa, 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.