The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), impounded cocaine and heroin worth over ₦30 billion being smuggled into the country by a passenger, at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos.
The seizures were made within the space of one week, and also, barely a week after the new NDLEA Chairman, Gen. Mohammed Buba Marwa vowed to dismantle drug trafficking cartels across Nigeria.
An official from the agency informed Channels News that, one of the seizures of cocaine (26.840 kilograms) is the biggest single seizure from an individual in the past 15 years. He narrated how the hard drugs were impounded:
“On the 27th of January 2021, at about 13:20 hours, during the inward clearance of Ethiopian Airline passengers at the E- arrival hall of Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, a female passenger by name Onyejegbu Ifesinachi Jennifer, (33 years old), who arrived Nigeria from Sao Paulo, Brazil via Addis Ababa, was intercepted by NDLEA operatives”.
“As a standard operating procedure, all passengers to and from high risk countries are always profiled using passengers’ manifest.
“It happened that the above-named suspect was targeted. Consequently, she was taken to NDLEA office at the Airport, where her bags were searched thoroughly, and in the process, whitish powdery substances were found concealed inside 16 pieces of duvet contained in her two travel bags.
“Field test was conducted on the recovered substances and proved positive to Cocaine and weighed 26.850kilograms. The suspect who is a hair stylist and based in Brazil was interviewed and she confessed to have agreed to smuggle the hard drug for the sum of Two Million Naira (N2,000,000) only. Although she refused to disclose the names of her associates but she mentioned that she was asked to hand over the drugs to another person. The street value of this singular seizure is put at over N21billion.”
“Based on information on the luggage tag, the luggage arrived in Nigeria from Sao Paulo, Brazil, a destination classified as high-risk country going by records and trends of arrest and seizures.
“Subsequently, the bag was transferred to the NDLEA ‘Legal Seat’ being the administrative office at the passenger terminal of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, for detention. While this was going on, the NDLEA Commander at the MMIA, Ahmadu Garba received an intelligence report of a purported plan to clear a consignment containing hard drug through the Lagos airport. Coincidentally, the details sent matched the bag earlier detained by the operatives at the Lagos airport.
“In a coordinated operation, on January 27, 2021, an NDLEA undercover agent was contacted by one Abubakar Aliyu. Guided by the operation and investigation unit, the undercover agent successfully lured the said Abubakar Aliyu into the cargo terminal of the airport where he was arrested. The suspect revealed to NDLEA operatives that another person was on his way to receive the bag based of the instruction of his sender whose name he gave to be Ikechukwu Eze.
“Shortly after, one Emmanuel Iyke Aniebonam, who was to receive the bag was also arrested at NAHCO. During a preliminary interview by a team of investigators, Emmanuel confessed that he was instructed by one Ikechukwu to receive the consignment”.
“A follow-up operation was quickly organised to the hotel, where one Onwurah Kelvin was arrested and brought to the office. The suspect confessed during interview that he was sent by one Ikechukwu to receive the consignment. Thereafter, the detained bag was opened in the presence of all the three suspects, whitish powdery substances were discovered neatly concealed and sewn inside five children duvets. Field tests carried out on the exhibits proved they are cocaine weighed to be 8.400 Kilograms, with a street value of over N7billion.”
Source: Channels News