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Two freight forwarders, five others under NDLEA detention over drug trafficking

By Barakat Odegbola

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency(NDLEA) has arrested and detained two freight forwarders, five drug peddlers with illicit drugs, weighing 37.3 kilogrammes in Lagos State.

The agency stated that the suspects were apprehended at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, while trying to either import illicit drugs into Nigeria or export to the United Kingdom and Italy.

Most of the illicit drugs intercepted and seized were cocaine, heroin and cannabis weighing 37.3kilograms.

Through a statement disclosed by the NDLEA Director, Media & Advocacy, Femi Babafemi, the agency noted that the seizures were made in five different bids, as the drug traffickers tried to import some of the substance into Nigeria, while others attempted to export to the United Kingdom and Italy.

Speaking on the seizures on Sunday, Babafemi said the  first interception was a Kenya returnee, Agudozie Peter, who excreted a total of  76 pellets of cocaine weighing 1.750 kilogrammes.

The NDLEA spokesman stated that the suspect 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.

“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 having swallowed the drugs in Nairobi but became pressed during the transit period in Doha and excreted some wraps onboard the aircraft en route Lagos,” he said.

The NDLEA spokesperson added that 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 kilograms of heroin bound for Italy, adding that two freight forwarders have been arrested in connection to the seizure.

Babafemi said, “During 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.”

The third interception was reportedly made on May 26, during inward security clearance of passengers on Qatar airline from Doha. 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,” Babafemi said.

He added that on the same date, NDLEA operatives at the NAHCO export shed of MMIA intercepted 30.150 kg of Cannabis Sativa heading to Manchester in the United Kingdom via British Airways and arrested one Anyanwu Chika who is a cargo bag stitcher in connection to the bid.

“The drug was neatly concealed inside 30 pieces of bankus palm nut cream tin (banga soup) after emptying the real content.

“In his confessional statement, he 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 seven hundred thousand naira,” the spokesperson said.

“On Thursday, June 3, operatives equally intercepted 11 parcels of heroin weighing 1.2kg concealed in 11 packs of Indomie noodles at SAHCO export shed of the Lagos airport.

“Preliminary investigations revealed that 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 have been arrested in connection to the foiled bid.”

NDLEA Chairman, Brig. General Buba Marwa (Retd) in his reaction commended officers and men of the MMIA Command of the agency 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.

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