Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), have thwarted several attempts by agents of drug cartels to break through the security at Nigeria’s main airports in Lagos and Abuja with large consignments of assorted illicit substances.
About 11 members of the trafficking syndicates have been arrested in connection with the seizures by the operatives of NDLEA, the agency says.
In a statement, Mr Femi Babafemi, the Media and Advocacy Director at NDLEA explained that a 35-year-old physically challenged lady, Kasarachi Onumajuru, who hides under her condition to deal in drugs in Umudumaonu community, Mbaitoli Local Government Area of Imo State was also arrested May 29 was also apprehended besides the 11 suspects.
He said Ofor Chileobi is the first on the list of those arrested in connection with seizures at the two airports.
According to him, “Chileobi had on May 20, attempted to export to Dubai, UAE, 200 blocks of cannabis Sativa weighing 30.20kg concealed in 40 sacks of bitter leaf.”
The statement explained that it was through the Skyway Aviation Handling Company (SAHCO) export shed, a cargo wing of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Ikeja, Lagos.
The spokesman noted that on the same day, 10 cartons of khat with a gross weight of 354.600kg were also seized at the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) import shed of the airport, stressing that the following day, Saturday, May 21, a freight agent, Roland Orinami was apprehended by NDLEA operatives attached to the local wing of the Lagos airport.
The statement said he was arrested with 1.90kg of Loud, a variant of cannabis, factory packed in some bottles while trying to send same via a flight to Abuja.
It explained that a follow-up operation in Abuja led to the arrest of a taxi driver, Nsikak Evans, sent to collect the consignment, saying that his confession also led to the arrest of the actual owner, Adesanya Olakunle Isaac at his house in the Life Camp area of Abuja.
It added that Adesanya who claims to be into Information Technology accepted ownership of the seized drug, which he said was meant for an upcoming birthday party of one of his friends.
The spokesman explained that Moshood Olaide, another freight agent, was arrested at the NAHCO export shed of the MMIA when he presented a cargo containing psychotropic substances heading to Dubai on May 24.
The statement explained that the suspect said that the illegal consignment was packed into other items such as can drinks, liquid bitters and other non-controlled drugs.
According to the statement, the seized drugs include Tramadol 225mg, Rohypnol and MDMA, saying that a follow-up operation led to the arrest of another suspect linked to the crime, Olagboye Selim on May 27.
The statement explained that the previous day, Monday, May 23, Lasebikan Gbenga, another freight agent, was arrested with 200 bottles of pentazocine injection, with a brand name “Drutapent” weighing 1.05kg, a consignment that was heading to the United States of America.
The NDLEA spokesman explained that Akuta Lucy, another drug agent, was apprehended on May 26 at the SAHCO export shed while attempting to export 14.75kg of khat.
NDLEA said the drugs were bitter leaves, scent leaves, and pepper, all packed in bags for shipment to the United Kingdom and concealed inside other vegetable leaves and food condiments.
The statement explained that at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, a 45-year-old Ezika Nicholas from Ichida, Anocha area of Anambra State, was arrested on May 26 for ingesting 60 pellets of cocaine.
It said that it was weighing 1.037kg on arrival from Addis Ababa on board an Ethiopian airline.
It stated that Ezika who claims he was into the shoe business before his arrest travelled to Ethiopia on May 23.
The statement explained that it was on the invitation of the person who gave him the drug, which he ingested before returning to the waiting arms of NDLEA officers at the Abuja airport.
The spokesman said Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa, the Chairman, NDLEA has hailed the officers and men of MMIA and NAIA Commands of the agency for sustaining the heat on drug cartels.
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