NDLEA intercepts cannabis concealed in dried onions at Lagos airport
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency has intercepted 2.7kg of cannabis concealed in dried onions which was to be exported to Dubai through a postal firm.
It also said no fewer than 1, 205, 260 pills of opioids were seized in two interdiction operations in Kogi and Gombe states by operatives of the agency.
The spokesperson for the anti-narcotic agency, Femi Babafemi, in a statement on Sunday also revealed that officers at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja Lagos, disrupted the activities of a drug syndicate that operated between Nigeria, East Africa and Europe.
The agency arrested two members of the cartel.
He said, “Operatives at the Lagos airport had on Monday, March 13, intercepted a member of the drug syndicate, Ejezie Ifeanyi, during screening of inward passengers on Ethiopian Airline flight from Malawi via Addis Ababa at the arrival hall.
“When a search was conducted on him, it was discovered that one of his two bags had a false bottom concealment.
“During preliminary interview of the suspect, he confessed that a member of the syndicate was waiting at the airport car park to pick him. An immediate follow-up operation led to the arrest of Chukwu Bright, who was waiting in a grey colour Mercedes Benz C180 coupe, marked EKY 973 GQ to receive the drug consignment.”
Babafemi noted that after the arrest, a proper search of the bag was conducted before the two suspects leading to the recovery of three kilograms of heroin.
He added that findings revealed that the drug syndicate networked between Nigeria, and Malawi, Mozambique in East Africa and Europe.
“While Chukwu who lives in Lagos is responsible for the recruitment and coordination of the activities of mules on behalf of other members of the cartel based in Mozambique and Malawi, another set operates from the southeastern part of Nigeria.
“Meanwhile, the NDLEA operatives at the SAHCO export shed of the MMIA on Wednesday, March 15, intercepted a jerry can of palm oil going to Dubai, United Arab Emirates. At the point of examination, it was discovered that 600 grams of cannabis sativa were concealed inside the jerrycan of palm oil. A suspect, Tunde Ogunbowale, who presented the consignment for export to Dubai was immediately arrested.”
Babafemi stated that “an attempt to export 2.7kg cannabis packaged as part of dried onions to Dubai through a postal service firm was frustrated by the NDLEA officers attached to the courier company, who seized a carton filled with colourful sachets of dried onions, used to conceal the illicit consignment.”
“In Kogi State, a total of 530,160 pills of tramadol and 99,000 tabs of diazepam were seized along Okene-Abuja highway from a bus driver, Suleiman Oyedokun, 41, coming from Onitsha, Anambra State and going to Kontagora in Niger State on Monday, March 13.
“Same day, 576, 100 pills of tramadol concealed in bags of rubber slippers were intercepted by NDLEA officers at trailer garage, old mile 3 road area of Gombe metropolis, Akko LGA, Gombe State. Four suspects: Usman Suleiman; Ya’u Yusuf; Saidu Suleiman and Abubakar Umar have so far been arrested in connection with the seizure.
“In Kaduna, 367 kilograms of cannabis sativa were recovered from a vehicle with registration number FKJ141DX,” he added.
According to him, two suspects: Monday Suleiman, 62, and Sama’ila Mohammed, 30 were arrested while a bribe of N1,200,000 offered to the NDLEA officers was documented as part of exhibits to prosecute the suspects.
The statement said operatives in Delta State also on March 15 arrested a local female distiller of cannabis sativa and dry gin, Ebi Akpotudua, 52. The distilling process is used to produce a cocktail drink popularly known as monkey tail. She was arrested at Ugbrooke by River Road, Warri with 19.5 litres of monkey tail and 22.2kg of cannabis.