By Yomi Kareem
National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, said fresh attempts by Brazil based drug cartels to smuggle substantial quantities of Cocaine into Nigeria through the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja and Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos by concealing the Class-A illicit substance in teabags have again been thwarted by operatives of the Agency.
The Agency maintained that at least four traffickers involved in the attempts to import and export illicit drugs through the country in the last week are now in the custody of the NDLEA.
The spokesman of the agency, Femi Babafemi, said this in a statement issued on Sunday.
Nigerian Pilot reports that one of suspects arrested is 33-year-old Pascal Ekene Okolo, an indigene of Ihe in Ogwu Local Government Area of Enugu state. He was arrested during an inward clearance of Qatar Airways flight from Sao Paulo via Doha at the arrival hall of the NAIA on Sunday 17th April.
Okolo who claimed to be into wine business in Brazil was arrested with a travelling bag containing different medicinal teabags, which were used to conceal 4.1kilograms of cocaine.
The Agency explained that on the same day, a Canada based Nigerian; Anigo Christian Godspower was intercepted at the D-Arrival Hall of the MMIA, Ikeja, during an inward clearance of passengers on Qatar Airways from Sao Paulo via Doha to Lagos.
“When his luggage was searched, two blocks of Cocaine with a total weight of 2.10kg were discovered. The 52-year-old Anigo hails from Udi local council area of Enugu state. The suspect claimed he operated an unregistered Bureau De Change business before delving into the illicit drug trade.
“The bid by another cartel to export 950grams of Heroin concealed in the soles of lady’s footwears through the MMIA cargo shed was equally foiled by anti-narcotic officers who have so far arrested two suspects linked to the crime. Those arrested between 16th and 17th April in connection with an attempt to export the drug to Monrovia, Liberia include: Idokoja Solomon Chukwurah and Patrick John Tochukwu,” Babafemi stated.
According to the statement, Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa, rtd, commended the officers and men of the NAIA, MMIA, Kano, Kaduna, Akwa Ibom and FCT Commands of the Agency for sustaining the heat on drug cartels.
He charged them and those in other commands across the country to remain vigilant and on the offensive until the last gram of illicit drugs is taken away from the streets.