Photo Collage of NDLEA Arrested Drug Suspects Credit: Channels TV

Drug Trafficking: NDLEA seizes smuggled cocaine at Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt airports

*Mohamed Buba Marwa, Chairman/Chief Executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, commends the officers and men of various Commands of the regulatory agency for disrupting desperate attempts by drug cartels to traffic dangerous drugs into and across Nigeria

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

In continuation of its offensive against illegal drug trafficking and substance abuse in the West African country, Nigeria’s National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) says it has intercepted large consignments of Cocaine smuggled into the country through three major international airports in Port Harcourt, Abuja and Lagos respectively.

ConsumerConnect reports Mr. Femi Babafemi, Director, Media and Advocacy at NDLEA said this in a statement issued Sunday, April 17, 2022, Abuja, FCT.

Mr. Babafemi stated that seven traffickers were also arrested in connection to the smuggling by Brazil-based drug cartels.

The statement also noted the Cocaine was hidden and smuggled using unconventional methods like inside toothpaste tubes and footwear.

At the Port Harcourt International Airport, five suspects were arrested Saturday, April 9, said the NDLEA Spokesman.

He further stated: “Three of them were arrested during the inward screening of passengers on board Qatar Airline flight QR1433 from Doha to Port Harcourt.

“The three suspects departed Sao Paulo, Brazil on board same Qatar flight, en-route Doha to Abuja and Port Harcourt with a total of 24.96 kilograms of cocaine.

“The first is 51-year-old Udogwu James Johnson who hails from Orlu LGA, Imo state. He was arrested with 5.48kg of cocaine concealed in lotion plastic bottles sealed with candle wax. He claimed he agreed to traffic the drug for a fee of N1million.”

The anti-narcotics regulatory agency said: “Also arrested is Ezekwueme Ifeanyi Valentine, (32), from Aguata LGA, Anambra State, who was caught with 10.82kg cocaine packed in 84 sachets concealed in seven duvets, while the third trafficker, Chiezie Ikechukwu Arinze (35), from Dunukofia LGA, Anambra State, was arrested with 8.66kg cocaine hidden in 115 golden and silver colour 30ml breakable bottles factory packaged with lotion on top.

“The fourth suspect, Uchechukwu Onwugbufor (42), from Idemili North LGA, Anambra State, was arrested at the airport car park while waiting to receive one of the traffickers, Udogwu James and his consignment. He claimed he was contacted by someone in Brazil to receive Udogwu and lead him to Lagos for a fee of N100,000.

“Uchechukwu Onwugbufor was at the Airport with his neighbour, Nwogu Ezimadu, who is equally being investigated to determine if he’s complicit in the crime or not.”

Likewise, the agency disclosed at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja, a Psychology graduate of Imo State University, Owerri, Sebastine Emeka Kelvin, (30-years-old), was arrested with 74 pellets of cocaine weighing 1.454kg on arrival aboard Ethiopian Airline flight enroute Doula- Addis Ababa-Abuja Wednesday, April 13.

The statement said: “The father of one who claimed he’s a motor spareparts dealer is from Ezeagu in Ezeagu LGA, Enugu state.

“He said he’s lived in Cameroon for six years before going into the drug business to raise money to boost his trade. He added that he was introduced to the man who gave him the drugs at Addis Ababa by another person serving jail term for drug offence at the Doula Newbell Prison.”

In Lagos, the NDLEA stated that another Brazil-based passenger, Uba Samuel, was arrested at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), by NDLEA operatives Friday, April 15, on arrival aboard Ethiopian Airline flight from Sao Paulo via Addis Ababa to Lagos with sachets of cocaine weighing 633grams concealed in his footwear and toothpaste tube.

While accepting ownership of the drug, the suspect who claimed to be a cobbler from Abia State, said he used his shoe-making knowledge to conceal the drug in his pair of sandals.

Uba who is a regular traveller confessed he bought the drug to sell at a market in Abia, said the NDLEA.

Further still, additional illicit substances were said to have been recovered in raid operations in other parts of the country.

THe regulatory agency also stated that in Gadaka village of Fika LGA, Yobe State, operatives arrested certain Hassan Usman with a total of 22, 110 tablets of Tramadol, D5 and Exol 5, while certain Ali Mohammed was nabbed in a commercial vehicle coming from Kano to Maiduguri with 40 blocks of cannabis weighing 33kg. Also arrested on the Kano-Maiduguri route was a driver Ibrahim Khalil Idris with 60 packets of Tramadol, all Tuesday, 12th April.

It also said in Kogi State, 750 blocks of Cannabis weighing 750kg were seized from two suspects: Hassan Adamu, 25, and Abdulmalik Abdullahi, 24, along Okene-Abuja highway. The drug exhibits were concealed inside fabricated panels of a Ford bus.

Meanwhile, Brig.-Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Rtd.), Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, has commended the officers and men of the PHIA, NAIA, MMIA, Yobe, and Kogi Commands of the Agency for disrupting desperate attempts by drug cartels to traffic dangerous drugs into Nigeria and across the country.

Marwa said the huge seizures at the airports would send a strong message to drug barons that Nigeria would no longer be their safe destination or transit route.

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