Eight in NDLEA net over alleged attempts to smuggle illicit drugs
By Paul Michael
No fewer than eight suspects have been arrested by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) over attempts to import hundreds of cocaine pellets into Nigeria and export thousands of Tramadol 255mg tablets among other illicit drugs to Europe through Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, NAIA, Abuja: Akanu Ibiam International Airport, AIIA, Enugu, and Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Lagos.
NDLEA’s Director of Media and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi, who confirmed the arrest on Sunday in a statement said that the suspects include two ladies and six men
“The streaks of arrests and seizures began on Sunday 17th July when a 52-year-old father of three, Okwo Paul Okechukwu, was arrested upon his arrival from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia via an Ethiopian airline flight at the Abuja airport for ingesting 76 pellets of cocaine.
“During preliminary interview, Okechukwu who hails from Enugu Ezike, Igbo Eze LGA, Enugu state, said he was into selling women’s wigs and hair attachment before veering into the drug trade. He has since completed excreting all the 76 wraps of the drug he swallowed while under observation at the Agency’s facility in Abuja,” Babafemi said.
In the same vein, another father of three, Lawrence Chijioke, 42, was said to have been arrested at the Abuja airport same day in an operational synergy between NDLEA and Nigeria Customs Service at the NAIA.
“Chijioke, who hails from Umuahia in Umuahia LGA, Abia state was arrested during an inward clearance of Ethiopian Airline flight from Addis Ababa with 529 pellets of cocaine weighing 11.70kg concealed in his bag.
“In his statement to anti-narcotic officers, he claimed he was promised N2 million, which he planned to use to boost his business, upon successful delivery of the cocaine consignment in Abuja, Babafemi stated.
Meanwhile, on Saturday 23rd July, operatives arrested 29-year-old Ms Onuorah Caritas Onyinye at the Enugu airport upon arrival on Ethiopian airline flight from Addis Ababa.
Babafemi said a search of her luggage led to the discovery of 2.192kilograms of cocaine concealed in two designers women handbags with false linings.
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Attempts by drug traffickers to export different illicit drugs through the NAHCO export shed at the Lagos airport to Europe and United Arab Emirate were also frustrated by officers and men of the Agency.
“Apart from 24 parcels of Loud, a variant of cannabis, which is largely grown in the United States and Canada, other substances recovered from the cargo include a precursor for methamphetamine, BMK glycidic acid; tablets of designer drug MDMA and another five parcels of cannabis.
“No fewer than four freight agents were arrested in connection with the seizure. They include: Balogun Adesola Olamilekan; Sulaimon Kaosarat Yetunde; Benjamin Christopher Joel; and Omoniyi Ibukun Abraham.
Also same day, Monday 18th July, the bid by an Italy-bound passenger Tony Osas to export 10, 250 tablets of Tramadol 255mg to Europe through the Lagos airport was foiled by NDLEA operatives who intercepted him at gate B departure hall during outward clearance of passengers on a Turkish airline flight to Milan.
During a search of his luggage, Osas who hails from Ovia South – West Local Government Area of Edo State was found with the illicit substance that weighed 5.70kg concealed inside gari, a local cassava product tucked in his black handbag.
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