The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA) Command has intercepted a 12.05kg of cocaine consignment from a retuning Nigeria.
Spokesman of the agency, Jonah Achema, said on Thursday that an attempt by Okorie Cyprian Raymond, to smuggle the hard drugs into Nigeria was foiled by NDLEA officers at the NAIA.
According to him, Okorie was arrested during the inward clearance of Ethiopian Airline flight 911 from Sao Paulo, Brazil, en-route Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
“The drug which weighed 12.05kg was carefully packed in drink sachets of pineapple and lemon flavour and concealed in a suit case. Okorie had already claimed his luggage upon arrival and proceeded to NDLEA screening point where it was detected that one of his bags was stuffed with prohibited drugs suspected to be cocaine.
“He claimed that the drug consignment was given to him to deliver in Nigeria by one Uche whom he met in Church in Brazil about three months ago through a friend,” Achema said.
He said the suspect told officials that the said Uche overheard him talk to his friend about his impending trip to Nigeria.
He quoted Okorie as saying “I actually did not have knowledge of what is in the bag. Oga Uche brought the suit case to me at the airport just an hour before flight take-off. This short interval did not give me the opportunity to scrutinize the bag”.
The suspect Okorie, aged 38 and a school certificate holder said he has been a resident of Sao Paulo, Brazil, since 2015 where he worked as a technician in a brass installation center.
Okorie also said, “I had to leave my bicycle spare-parts business in Nigeria for greener pasture in the USA but opted to travel through Brazil, Mexico to America. My journey was aborted in Mexico from where I was returned to Brazil where I was granted asylum.”
Speaking on the development, the NDLEA Commander, Abuja Airport, Kabir Sani Tsakuwa, noted that the seized 12.05kg cocaine is one of the highest quantities seized by the command in recent times.
“We promise all travellers who involve themselves in drug trafficking that they will not escape our drag net. We will continue to sustain our vigilance,” Tsakuwa said.