Officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMIA) Command have arrested and paraded numerous suspects for drug trafficking at the airport.
Some of the suspects were arrested during the inward and outward screening of passengers by the agency with banned substances like cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and Khat leaves.
However, three of the suspects; Chukwudi Destiny, Okonkwo Chimezie Henry and Ezekiel Chibuzor were arrested for drug injection, while others used several ingenious ways to peddle the illicit drugs, but were caught in the act by the officials of the anti-narcotics agency.
Briefing newsmen on some of the arrests, Mr. Ahmadu Garba, Commander, NDLEA, MMIA, stated that Destiny was arrested on April 10, 2021 during the outward screening of passengers on Ethiopian Airline to Italy.
According to him, the suspect was referred for scanning, which result was positive was subsequently put under observation.
He stated that the suspect excreted 92 pellets of heroin weighing 1.300kg.
He explained that two weeks earlier, Henry excreted 113 wraps of Cocaine, which weighed 1.750 kilograms bound for Spain.
Chibuzor on the other hand was arrested on April 16, 2021 on arrival from Brazil aboard Qatar Airways, stressing that after close observation, the suspect excreted 100 wraps of cocaine weighing 2.05kg.
Our correspondent gathered from the peddlers in an interviews with them, they said that economic hardship in Europe where they lived and at home pushed them into the crime, lamenting that the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic further compounded their economic woes, as they all lost their means of livelihoods.
Destiny confessed to the crime, claimed that his sponsors promised him 1,000 euros to ingest the drugs, but could not give the identity of the sponsors, while Henry also regretted his involvement in the illicit act.
“I was looking for a way out of my situation and I found myself in this mess,” Destiny said.
On his part, Chibuzor said he was also deceived into injecting the drugs, adding that he thought the items were pharmaceutical products, which would not harm him.
Like Destiny, he confessed that he was promised the sum of 3,000 euros by his sponsors.
In the same vein, NDLEA operatives on April 12 during the inbound examination of consignments on Ethiopian Airline cargo flight from South Africa made a seizure of 11.550kg of heroin cleverly packed and hidden in core flakes cartons.
Garba said four clearing agents connected to the cargo were debriefed after which a sting operation was executed that led to the arrest of two people.
A Congolese by name Kayembe Kamba Mazepy was arrested and one Ekebuilo Samson Chukwunonso who was to receive the parcel from the Congolese was arrested.
Besides, on Friday, April 15, 2021, NDLEA operatives at SAHCO shed intercepted a cargo from South Africa via Addis Ababa on Ethiopian Airline, which contained heroin and methamphetamine.
A total of 24.05 kg of heroin and 1.25kg of methamphetamine was recovered, bringing the gross weight of the illicit substance to 25.3kg.
The commander said the heroin seizure was the highest to be intercepted in one shipment in the past 15 years, adding that four people have been arrested in connection with it.