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Drug traffickers hide heroines inside holy Mary statue, auto spare parts

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

In a bid to pass through the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) checkpoints at the Murtala Muhammed International Airports (MMIA) in Lagos without notice, drug traffickers were reported to have started concealing heroin in the holy Mary statue, artworks, and auto spare parts across the country.

These novel strategies were uncovered by the NDLEA after its officials intercepted a holy Mary statue, auto spare parts, and others that were already prepared for airlifting to Philipines, Canada as well as the United Arab Emirate (UAE).

The statue and auto spare parts were said to have been handed over by the traffickers to two courier companies in Lagos before NDLEA’s narcotics agents stormed the premises sited at different locations and demanded that the items be subjected to investigation.

It was learnt that the NDLEA’s Directorate of Operations and General Investigations upon investigation discovered 140 grams of methamphetamine that were hidden inside a holy Mary statue that was already prepared for a trip to the Philippines.

Also at the other courier company, the anti-drug agency seized 500grammes of heroin that was already hidden inside an auto spare parts and was prepared for airlifting by the company to Canada.

How the drugs were hidden in the Holy Mary statue

The agency’s Director, Operations and General Investigations, Adeyemi Adeofe, disclosed that “3.1 kilograms of cannabis was concealed inside spices and another kilogram of cannabis hidden inside local herbs that are about to leave for UAE before we intercepted it during a search at the courier companies”.

Meanwhile, the Ondo Command of the agency has apprehended no fewer than 31 suspected drug peddlers from whom 275.552 kilograms of assorted illicit drugs were recovered.

The arrest was confirmed on Saturday in a statement signed by the agency’s Director, Media, and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi, and made available to The Guild, which revealed that 24 of the suspects were males and other seven females.

Through the statement, the acting Commander, Ondo command, Callys Alumona, said: The sting operations were carried out to curb the increasing rate of drug abuse among the youths and even the elderly in Ondo State”.

He added that the illicit drugs seized “consist of 74.285Kgs of cannabis sativa, 267grammes of psychotropic substances; 201Kgs of skuchies (a combination of cannabis, tramadol, ethanol, and zobo), while many of the drug spots have been dismantled.”

Also in Akwa Ibom state, the agency nabbed four suspected drug dealers, and that they were apprehended with 62.150 kilograms of illicit drugs in Oron and Uyo axis of the state.

The spare parts that were used to convey drugs

The state Commander of the NDLEA, Obot Bassey, said four suspects were arrested in the sting two operations carried out across the state recently.

The chairman of the Agency, Brig. General Buba Marwa (retd) in his reaction commended the officers and men of Operations and General Investigations Directorate as well as those of Ondo and Akwa Ibom states for their steadfastness and commitment to the new operational maxim of offensive action.

Marwa charged them to stay focused and do more to rid every part of the country of the scourge of drug abuse and trafficking.

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