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NDLEA arrests two for cocaine trafficking at Lagos airport

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•Seizes 3,413,463kg of illicit drugs in 2020

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, has arrested three male suspects with 137.8 kilograms of cocaine.

All the suspects were arrested on the 6 and 8 of January 2021 with the illicit drugs hidden inside hair relaxers, embroidery tailoring materials and shirts packaged with carbon and other oily substances to avoid being detected by the scanning machines.

The suspected drug traffickers, Okeke Uchenna and Azubuike Jeremiah Emeka, were nabbed by officials of the agency during inward clearance of Ethiopian Airlines’ flight from Brazil. The third suspect, Abdul Musa, a freight forwarder, was nabbed while trying to export cocaine to India through the cargo warehouse of the Skyway Aviation Handling Company (SAHCO) in Lagos.

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NDLEA Airport Commander, Garba Ahmadu, said the suspects were arrested with 13kg, 117kg and 7.8kg of cocaine. Ahmadu noted that Uchenna was a second time offender and also a fugitive wanted by the Federal High Court Lagos for jumping bail for a drug related offence in 2014.

He described the seizures as significant because of the quantity of drugs seized, adding that 13kgs, 7.8kg and 117kgs were significant based on the mode of transport.

In 2020, the NDLEA Lagos airport command made a total seizure of 3,413,463 kilograms of illicit drugs comprising cocaine, methamphetamine, cannabis sativa, just leaves, ephedrine and psychotropic substances.

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A total of 60 suspects were arrested comprising 52 males and 8 females and were all charged to court and arraigned for prosecution with 44 convicted.

The breakdown of drugs seized are Cocaine 51.404 (1.51 per cent), Cannabis sativa 103.84 (3.04 per cent), Methamphetamine 19.935 (0.58 per cent), Ephedrine 19.811 (0.58 per cent), Khat leaves 2,993,350 (87.70 per cent), Psychotropic substances, Tramadol 158.632 (4.65 per cent), Diazepam 42.0 (1.32 per cent) and Nitrazepam 24.491 (0.72 per cent).

Ahmadu noted that the successes were achieved through the sacrifice exhibited by the officers and men of the command even in the face of serious dangers and challenges.

“I want to thank the management of the NDLEA for leading the command and partnering with the UK border force, British National Crime Agency which paved the way for the creation of Joint Border Task Force Project (JBTF). A project responsible for the transformation of the NDLEA MMIA command into a model office equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and up to date training of officers in line with international best practice,” Ahmadu said.

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