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 National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA.
Director, Media & Advocacy of the agency, Femi Babafemi, who disclosed this in a statement on Sunday, said 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 Agency.
One of them is 33-year-old Pascal Ekene Okolo, an indigene of Ihe in Ogwu Local Government Area of Enugu state, who 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.
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 Paolo 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 who hails from Udi local council area of Enugu state 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 ladys 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 attempt to export the drug to Monrovia, Liberia include: Idokoja Solomon Chukwurah and Patrick John Tochukwu.
Meanwhile, NDLEA operatives in raids in Kano, Kaduna, Benue and Akwa Ibom state have seized no less than 88,734 doses of Tramadol, Pentazocine, Diazepam and Swinol. In Kano, Aliyu Usman, 28, was arrested at Railway area of the state capital with 47,000 capsules of Tramadol and 2,000 ampules of pentazocine injection on Tuesday 19th April while Saminu Usman, 28, was nabbed with 24,710 Tramadol tablets at Gadar Tamburawa area of Kano two days earlier.
In Benue, another dealer, Emeka Eze was arrested at an NDLEA checkpoint at Adikpo, Kwande Local Government area of the state with 10,000 Tramadol capsules and 900 tablets of swinol, while in Kaduna state, the duo of Raphael Daniel and David Musa were arrested at Mando park, Kaduna with 1kg of Cocaine on Thursday 21st April.
A week after Muhammad Sani Ibrahim sent 12.1kg of cannabis from Lagos to Kaduna, operatives were able to trace and arrest him last Thursday and brought him to Kaduna after his consignment was intercepted.
Another dealer, Kamilu Ibrahim was also arrested same day at Kargi village in Kubau LGA, Kaduna State with 10.6kg Cannabis Sativa, while Bashir Ibrahim was arrested on Friday 22nd April after his four consignments containing Cannabis Sativa weighing 44.6kg were intercepted three days earlier along Abuja-Kaduna express road.
In Akwa Ibom state, operatives arrested two female drug dealers: Eno-Obong Edet, 36, and Hossana Esema Ukpong, 28, with various quantities of Rohypnol, Diazepam, Tramadol and Cannabis, while a suspected fake security agent was arrested on Saturday 23rd April in Abuja while moving 23.8kg cannabis from Lagos to Maiduguri, Borno state.
Pleased with the development, Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) 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.