The Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in Lagos State has arrested two inbound passengers for allegedly importing 16.65 kg of cocaine worth billions of naira into the country.
The suspects Okwubunne Chidiebere Simeon and Aniakar Uchenna James were arrested on Wednesday last week on arrival from Sao Paulo, Brazil, with 10.40 kg and 6.25 kg of cocaine respectively.
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The Commander of NDLEA at the Lagos Airport, Ahmadu Garba, who spoke with newsmen at the weekend on the arrest, disclosed that the items were concealed in eight children’s duvets which contained seven absorbent towels.
The towels, he explained, were soaked with cocaine while the remaining drugs “were neatly and cleverly concealed in tin cans labelled Schramn.”
Daily Trust reports that with the street value of a cocaine worth about $300 (N135, 000 at N450/$) per gram depending on the country, the seizures are worth over N2bn.
Similarly, the command in the third quarter of 2020 (July, August, and September) arrested 12 suspects and made seizures of 15.800 kilograms.
In July, the command arrested three suspects comprising two males and one female; three suspects were arrested in August made up of two females and one male; while in September, six persons comprising four males and two females were arrested.
In all, a total of 15.800 kilograms of drugs were seized comprising Indian hemp, 13.860, cocaine 0.300 and methamphetamine 1.640 during the period.
Speaking on last week’s arrest, the commander described the method of concealment as “spectacular”, saying the volume of the seizure would have caused havoc in the country if his officers had not detected it.
He said, “the arrests and seizures are coming at a time when all hands are supposed to be on deck towards maintaining the fragile security situation in our country.
“Involvement of people in drugs stands condemnable considering the fact that drug intakes are a catalyst that fuels crime.
“If this quantum of drugs had penetrated into the society, we can only imagine the multiplier effect of crime rate in this state.”
He advised members of the public to continue to resist any form of involvement in drug abuse and trafficking, assuring that the command would continue to expose several methods of concealment being devised by drug traffickers.
He called on all stakeholders particularly security agencies and indeed the general public to identify with the security agents in the drug war to pave way for a drug-free, crime-free, and subsequent healthy community.
“I also want to call on well-meaning Nigerians to collaborate with us by exposing drug barons. All information shared with us will always be treated with the utmost confidentiality,” he said.