Despite the lockdown and flight restrictions occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic, operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos arrested 27 suspected drug traffickers from January till date.
Besides, the command made a seizure of 301.282 kilograms of illicit drugs such as cocaine, heroin, cannabis sativa, ephedrine, tramadol and diazepam in the period under review.
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The NDLEA Commandant at the airport, Garba Ahmadu, disclosed this on Friday while briefing newsmen on the 2020 International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking declared by the United Nations to promote awareness on the danger of drug abuse.
A breakdown of the figure of the arrest indicated that despite the extant flights restriction with only essential flights allowed, suspected drug traffickers were still arrested.
According to the breakdown, 21 cases were recorded between January and June.
Further analysis of the breakdown shows that six cases were reported in January and February, four cases in March, two cases in May and three cases in June.
No case was recorded in April because of the total lockdown declared during the period.
In all, 27 suspects were arrested comprising 25 males and two females while nine convictions were recorded within the period.
The commandant also disclosed that the 301.282 kg seizure represents a “huge increase” compared to the total seizure of 377.801 recorded last year.
In the two quarters under review, Tramadol seizure was estimated at 158.600 kg; followed by Diazepam (42.000kg); Cannabis Sativa (31.330kg); Cocaine (25.053kg); and Ephedrine (19.811kg).
He disclosed that despite the flights restriction, some suspects were arrested at the cargo wing since only cargo and emergency flights were allowed.
“Yes there is restriction in commercial flights and only cargo flights are allowed but people still tried to take advantage of the situation thinking they could beat us to it.
“We made some seizures of cannabis sativa neatly concealed inside slippers. Also, some illicit drugs were attached with face mask just to deceive our men,” he said.
According to him, investigation of the cases are ongoing with a view to prosecute all the suspects.
Ahead of the resumption of commercial flights in few weeks to come, the NDLEA boss explained that its officers and men have undergone several online training to make them more efficient and at alert when commercial flights resume.