By Bukar Bolori
Two pregnant women are among drug traffickers arrested by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos for attempting to import and export illicit drugs through the airport over the last week.
According to a statement on Sunday by the spokesman of NDLEA, Femi Babafemi, the first to be caught by the agency’s dragnet is a Brazilian returnee, Nworie Chikwendu, who was arrested last Tuesday during an inward clearance of passengers on Qatar Airways flight from Sao Paulo, Brazil enroute Doha to Lagos.
Babafemi said during a thorough search of his luggage, two parcels of cocaine were discovered concealed in a pair of brown slippers hidden in his oxblood backpack, and during a further search of the pair of black slippers worn by the suspect also led to the recovery of additional two parcels of cocaine built into the soles of his foot wears, bringing the total to four parcels weighing 800 grammes.
He disclosed that while undergoing preliminary interrogation, Nworie who claimed to be a barber in Sao Paulo, said he came to Nigeria for the burial of his father.
He confessed to trafficking the drugs because his trip was sponsored by his Brazil-based friend who gave him the drug to deliver in Lagos for a fee of N2 million.
The spokesman also said on Wednesday, the following day, NDLEA operatives at the SAHCO export shed of the airport intercepted some cartons of alcoholic drinks suspected to contain illicit drugs.
He disclosed that a freight agent who brought the consignment for export to Dubai, UAE, Shola Ogunrinde was immediately arrested while a follow up operation led to the arrest of a pregnant woman, Mrs. Seun Babatunde, who operates an alcohol joint in Pleasure area of Iyana Ipaja.
He said when the cartons were opened in the presence of the agent and the pregnant woman, seven parcels of cannabis and a sachet of ecstasy drug (MDMA) were found concealed inside cans of Black Bullet alcoholic drinks.
He said in her confession, Babatunde claimed the drugs were being sent to her husband who lives in Dubai.
The second pregnant woman, Mrs. Gloria Asibor was arrested last Thursday while attempting to board a Turkish Airline flight to Bolonia, Spain via Istanbul, Turkey.
According to Babafemi, a search of her luggage containing food items led to the discovery of 300 tablets of 200mg and 225mg high dosage tramadol concealed in crayfish.
Meanwhile, large consignments of psychoactive substances have been intercepted in parts of Northwest, Northeast and North central regions of the country.
In Kaduna, a drug dealer, Obinna Anene a.k.a Young Alhaji was arrested last Friday at Buwaya Kaduna with 50,000 tablets of Diazepam weighing 9 kilogrammes ; 595 tablets of tramadol weighing 318 grammes and 8 tablets of co-codamol weighing 6 grammes.
On the same day, a trafficker, Alhaji Modu Yahaya was caught with 26.5 kilogrammes cannabis in Damaturu, Yobe state while travelling in a commercial vehicle from Abuja to Maiduguri, Borno state.
Babafemi also disclosed that at least, nine drug dealers were arrested by operatives in Lagos last Thursday during raids in black spots in Mushin Olosha and Akala as well as Langbasa and Ikota in Ajah area of the state with different quantities of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, cannabis and skuchies
He said arrested are Kehinde Ilori; Osho Nurudeen; Kamarudeen Isiaka; Kazeem Ishola; Afeez Adebolade; Oguntana Aduragbemi; Chuks Alowai; Mrs. Bola Kazeem and Kehinde Ogunleye.
In Plateau State, NDLEA operatives on Saturday intercepted a truck carrying 673.3 kilogrammes cannabis along Bassa/Rukuba Barracks road in Jos while the driver and his assistant fled into the bush, and in other parts of the state capital, two dealers; Manga Emmanuel and Yusuf Usman were arrested with 34 pinches of cocaine and 400 grammes of cannabis at old airport and Rikkos respectively.
Speaking on the latest clampdown, the Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (Retd) commended the officers and men of the MMIA, Kaduna, Yobe, Lagos and Plateau Commands of the agency for the arrests and seizures.
He however charged them and those in other commands across the country to sustain the heat on drug cartels as well as balance their drug supply reduction and drug demand reduction efforts.