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NDLEA intercepts N10bn heroin, khat at Lagos, Kano airports

By Barakat Odegbola

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has disclosed that it has intercepted and seized consignments of heroin and khat at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Lagos, and the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport.

The agency stated that the seized consignments weighed 61.3 kilogrammes with a street value of N10 billion, that the total weight of 25. 3 kilogrammes of illicit drugs seized in that MMIA, Lagos cargo was shipped from South Africa while a total weight of 36 kilogrammes of the illegal consignment seized in MAKIA was meant to be exported to Manchester, the United Kingdom before the seizure.

It said that six suspects behind MMIA, Lagos consignment have so far been traced and arrested after followed up operation by the anti-drugs agency operatives.

The NDLEA Director, Media and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi, said at the MMIA, Lagos, during cargo examination at SAHCO Import Shed, a freight agent had presented a cargo from South Africa with an Ethiopian Airline ET 3901 Airway Bill no: 071-40689003 for examination before NDLEA operatives attached to the beat.

Through a statement released to newsmen on Sunday, Babafemi said NDLEA officers subsequently conducted a search of the cargo during which a suspected brownish substance was discovered concealed inside a red bag popularly called “Ghana-must-go”.

The agency spokesman said during a preliminary interview of the suspect, it was gathered that another freight agent sub-contracted the clearing job to him and that eventually, “six suspects had so far been arrested in follow up operations, while the substance had tested positive to heroin with a total weight of 24.05kg.

“Another consignment in the consolidated cargo has also proved to be methamphetamine with a weight of 1.25kg, bringing the total weight of illicit drugs seized in the cargo to 25. 3kg.”

The statement said though the cargo arrived at the airport on the evening of 16th April, properly searched the following day, 17th, follow up operations leading to a number of arrests lasted till the weekend.

According to the Commander, MMIA Command of the Agency, Ahmadu Garba, “the heroin and methamphetamine consignments were tagged in different names to deceive our officers but we still uncovered them and neutralised their plot.”

Babafemi said that in another undercover operation, the MAKIA Command of the Agency in Kano has intercepted and seized a consignment meant for export to Manchester, the United Kingdom at its Cargo shed.

”A sample of the suspected substance in the consignment was sent for laboratory analysis, the result of which came out positive to khat, weighing 36kg. This brings the total weight of illicit drugs seized at the two international airports to 61.3kg,” the statement said.

Babafemi quoted the Ag. Commander, MAKIA Command, Mohammed Ajiya as saying that efforts were ongoing to track and arrest the true owner behind the other unaccompanied illegal consignment meant for shipment in the UK.
Meanwhile, the Chairman/Chief Executive of the anti-drug agency, Buba Marwa has in his reaction to the operations commended the officers and men of the two Commands for not allowing the illicit substances to escape their watch either into Nigeria or foreign jurisdictions.

He assured them that he would continue to do his best to improve their welfare and take the anti-drug law enforcement agency to an enviable height.

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