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NDLEA intercepts N30bn worth of cocaine at Lagos airport


Barely two weeks after Gen. Buba Marwa assumed leadership of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), the regulatory body has made huge seizures of cocaine and heroines worth over N30billion at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos.

It was gathered that one of the seizures, weighing 26.840 kilograms was the biggest single seizure in the last decade.

A statement by the NDLEA read:

“On the 27th of January 2021, at about 1320hours, 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, 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 the 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 hairstylist and based in Brazil was interviewed and she confessed to having agreed to smuggle the hard drug for the N2m only.

“Although she refused to disclose the names of her associates, 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.”

The NDLEA official further added that a similar incident occurred two days ago during the inward clearance of passengers on an Ethiopian Airline.

He added:

“Based on information on the luggage tag, the luggage arrived in Nigeria from Sao Paulo, Brazil, a destination classified as a 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 on the instruction of his sender who he gave his name as Ikechukwu Eze.

“As a result, one Emmanuel Iyke Aniebonam, who was to receive the bag, was also arrested.

“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 the 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. The field test was carried out on the exhibits proved they are cocaine weighed to be 8.400 Kilograms, with a street value of over N7billion.”

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