Gift Joseph Okpakorese
Officials of the NDLEA have recently seized a sizeable amount of Illegal drugs at the terminals of Lagos and Kano international airports respectively.
Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), disclosed that the agency was able to retrieve illegal substances of heroin and khat, totalling about N10 billion at these Nigerian international airports.
Khat is a plant used abusively to stimulate exhilaration, enthusiasm, and stamina. It is harmful healthwise to the human body especially when excessively taken, and is a substance banned in Nigeria and some other countries around the globe.
In a statement released to the general public by the municipal relations officer of the agency, Femi Babafemi, it was noted that the NDLEA officials were able to seize illicit drugs weighing a total of 61.3kg at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, and the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airports in the country.
The NDLEA spokesperson continued stating that, during its general inspections of the cargo at the SAHCO import shed in Lagos, the operatives discovered 24.05kg of heroin, while another consignment in the cargo tested to be methamphetamine with a weight of 1.25kg, bringing the drugs seized at the Lagos airport to a total of 25.3kg.
Babafemi however, disclosed that earlier investigations showed that the alleged suspect was discovered to be in business with another freight agent, who was also indicted in the process, and this eventually led to a follow-up raid and arrest of six other persons said to have been part of the drug syndicate.
In his words;
“At the MMIA, Lagos, during cargo examination at SAHCO Import Shed, a freight agent had presented a cargo from South Africa with an Ethiopia Airline ET 3901 Airway Bill no: 071-40689003 for examination before NDLEA operatives attached to the beat,”
“The officers subsequently searched the cargo during which a suspected brownish substance was discovered concealed inside a red bag popularly called Ghana-must-go.
“During the preliminary interview of the suspect, it was gathered that another freight agent sub-contracted the clearing job to him and eventually six suspects have so far been arrested in follow-up operations, while the substance had tested positive to heroin with a total weight of 25.05kg.”
Meanwhile, speaking on the same incidence which transpired in kano, the media director of the agency revealed that the command in Kano also apprehended a similar consignment, tested to be khat, which weighed 36kg, and meant for export to Manchester, United Kingdom.
In his statement he revealed that;
“In a similar development, the MAKIA Command of the agency in Kano has intercepted and seized a consignment meant for export to Machester, United Kingdom at its cargo shed,” the statement reads.
“A sample of the suspected substance in the consignment was sent for laboratory analysis, the result of which came out positive to khat, weighing 36kg.
“This brings the total weight of illicit drugs seized at the two international airports to 61.3kg.”
Narrating the episode to a journalist, the acting commander at the Kano airport, Muhammed Ajiyasa revealed that further a thorough investigation is ongoing “to ascertain the true owners of the illegal consignment”.
Furthermore, Buba Marwa, chairman of the NDLEA, remarking on the double seizure of illegal goods lauded the efforts of the relentless officials of the NDLEA especially for their proactiveness in dealing with the menace of illegal drugs trafficking within the country as recently experienced in Lagos and Kano international airports.