NDLEA Intercepts N8bn Worth Of Cocaine At Lagos Airport
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) says it intercepted 36 blocks of cocaine worth over N8 billion at Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos.
In a statement on Sunday, Femi Babafemi, NDLEA director of media and advocacy, said the intercepted substance weighs 27.95 kilogrammes.
Babafemi said a suspect identified as Ejiofor Felix Enwereaku was arrested at the airport on May 14.
Enwereaku, who is based in Brazil, is said to have imported the cocaine using an “organised criminal gang, which specialises in tagging/planting drugs in innocent travellers’ luggage”.
“Based on intelligence, narcotic agents at the MMIA had on Saturday 8th May 2021 intercepted a bag that arrived the Lagos airport from GRU, Brazil via Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on the Ethiopian airline with baggage tag No- ET331199 but was disclaimed by an arriving passenger on the flight,” he said.
“The disclaimed bag was promptly secured by NDLEA operatives for investigation. On Sunday, 9th May 2021, a man came to the airport to make an inquiry on how to get the disclaimed bag released. He was promptly arrested for investigation.
“The disclaimed bag was opened in the presence of the arriving passenger and the man who came to negotiate the release of the disputed bag. When it was opened, it was found that the bag contained 36 blocks of cocaine, weighing 27.95kg.”
The NDLEA said a follow-up sting operation was carried out which led to the arrest of Enwereaku upon his arrival from Addis Ababa onboard Ethiopian Airline.
During preliminary interrogation, the agency said the suspect confessed to have been contracted by his Ethiopian associate to claim and push out the consignment in Lagos.
Enwereaku also said he paid $24,500 bribe a sum which the agency seized.
“He further admitted to have paid the $24,500 bribe in three tranches to compromise NDLEA officers. The first was $10,000 delivered through his representative in Lagos and another $10, 000 via his First Bank account while the third tranche of $4,500 was paid at the point of his arrest,” the agency said.
“His group is suspected to be responsible for recruiting traffickers to move illicit drugs to various destinations using Nigeria as their transit location and also planting drugs in the luggage of innocent travellers.”
Reacting to the development, Mohammed Buba Marwa, NDLEA chairman, commended Ahmadu Garba, commander of MMIA command of the agency, and his officers for the arrest.
“I have warned that we’ll henceforth not only go after the traffickers but with the same vigour target the cartels and the kingpins that operate them; the latest arrest is a clear confirmation that we’ll match our words with action and that we’ll come for those who will not back out of the criminal trade, wherever they are hiding pushing instruments of death through our borders to destroy the lives of our youths,” Marwa said.
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