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The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have disclosed that, cocaine worth at least over N30 billion was seized at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos in one week, this was according to senior officials of the agency.
Just before the seizure, the new Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig.-Gen. Mohammed Buba Marwa had pledged to dismantle drug trafficking cartels across Nigeria, warning those in the illicit deal to desist from it.
Senior officials of the agency, who spoke to reporters over the weekend, gave account of hard drugs that were seized and drug dealers that were arrested just after President Muhammadu Buhari appointed Marwa as NDLEA’s chief.
Buhari had appointed Marwa, a former military administrator of Lagos and Borno states, as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency.
An NDLEA official told newsmen privately that one of the seized parcels, weighing 26.840 kilograms of cocaine ‘is the biggest single seized from an individual in the past 15 years.
‘On January 27, at about 1320hours, during the inward clearance of Ethiopian Airline passengers at the E-arrival hall of Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, a female passenger by name Onyejegbu Ifesinachi Jennifer, 33 years, who arrived Nigeria from Sao Paulo, Brazil via Addis Ababa, was intercepted by NDLEA operatives.
‘As a standard operating procedure, all passengers to and from high risk countries are always profiled using passengers’ manifest. It happened that the above-named suspect was targeted.
‘Consequently, she was taken to NDLEA office at the Airport, where her bags were searched thoroughly, and in the process, whitish powdery substances were found concealed inside 16 pieces of duvet contained in her two travel bags.
‘Field test was conducted on the recovered substances and proved positive for Cocaine and weighed 26.850kilograms. The suspect, who is a hair stylist and based in Brazil was interviewed and she confessed to have agreed to smuggle the hard drug for the sum of N2,000,000 only.
‘Although she refused to disclose the names of her associates, she mentioned that she was asked to hand over the drugs to another person. The street value of this singular seizure is put at over N21 billion.”
‘The official further disclosed that the development came on the heels of a similar one recorded two days earlier at the airport, precisely on January 25, 2021 when a red left-over luggage was declared to the NDLEA operatives as a left over at the E- arrival hall after the inward clearance of passengers on Ethiopian airline.
‘Based on information on the luggage tag, the luggage arrived Nigeria from Sao Paulo, Brazil, a destination classified as high-risk country going by records and trends of arrest and seizures.
‘Subsequently, the bag was transferred to the NDLEA ‘Legal Seat’ being the administrative office at the passenger terminal of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, for detention.
‘While this was going on, the NDLEA Commander at the MMIA, Ahmadu Garba received an intelligence report of a purported plan to clear a consignment containing hard drugs through the Lagos airport. Coincidentally, the details sent matched the bag earlier detained by the operatives at the Lagos airport.’ He said.
AFRICA DAILY NEWS, NEW YORK