By Bukar Bolori
A Brazilian returnee, Okolie Nwabueze has been arrested at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, for importing 92 wraps of cocaine, which he ingested and eventually excreted after days under observation in the agency’s facility.
The 53-year-old trafficker, father of twowas arrested on Friday 2nd September upon his arrival on Qatar Airline flight enroute Brazil-Doha-Abuja.
According to a statement on Sunday by the spokesman of the NDLEA, Femi Babafemi, the suspect claimed to have left Nigeria to Mozambique in 2004 and finally relocated to Brazil in 2017, where he obtained a residence permit before deciding to import the illicit substance for a $4,000 fee.
Babafemi also disclosed that a 42-year-old man, Aliyu Kwasare, has been arrested at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano, for attempting to export a consignment of new psychoactive substance, Akuskura, to Saudi Arabia.
According to him, Kwasore, who lives in Goron Dutse area of Kano, was arrested on Monday 5th Sept. during the outward clearance of passengers on Ethiopian Airline flight to Riyadh.
Babafemi revealed that in the course of the week, at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, no fewer than 1,099,000 tablets of tramadol 225mg were seized through inter-agency collaboration between NDLEA and the Nigerian Customs.
He said the pharmaceutical opioids packed in 50 cartons weighing 2,058.90 kilogrammes were imported from Pakistan via Addis-Ababa on Ethiopian Airways, with the consignment concealed among other non-controlled pharmaceuticals.
Babafemi said last Friday, a freight agent, Aliyu Abubakar was arrested at the NAHCO export shed of the Lagos airport over attempt to export a consignment of cannabis concealed inside bottles of Caro white body lotion.
He noted that attempts by drug cartels to export 7.805 kilogrammes of crystal methamphetamine to the United States and Australia were thwarted by NDLEA operatives attached to some courier companies in Lagos.
The meth consignments were concealed in the linings of local fabric, wooden statutes, printer cartridges, handle of travel bag and cassava flakes.
In a clampdown across the country, a 25-year-old pregnant woman, Haruna Favour, was arrested in Auchi, Edo state last Friday with 82 pinches of methamphetamine as well as various quantities of Loud, Arizona, Colorado variants of cannabis and codeine based cough syrup.
In Gombe, 119,000 tablets and capsules of tramadol, D5 and Exol-5 were recovered from two drug dealers, Nasiru Abubakar, 22, and Umaru Bayero a.k.a Hadiza when NDLEA operatives raided their stores at the Gombe main market last Tuesday.
In Kogi, a suspect, Paul Ali, 47, was arrested along Okene-Abuja highway with 1,404 bottles of codeine based syrup weighing 190.94 kilogrammes and 2,040 ampoules of pentazocine injection coming from Onitsha to Sokoto.
A follow up operation in Sokoto also led to the arrest of the receiver of the consignment last Tuesday.
A raid at the cannabis plantation camp in Emure forest, Owo local government area of Ondo State has led to the arrest of Monday Onoja, 20; Daniel Kehinde, 25; and Obinna Okechukwu, 35, and 16 bags of the illicit substance weighing 179.5 kilogrammes were seized from them.
Meanwhile, the Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (Retd) in his reaction to the arrests and seizures, commended the officers and men of the NAIA, MMIA, DOGI, MAKIA, Kano, Kogi, Edo, Ondo and Gombe Commands for their resilience.
He, however, charged them and their compatriots in other commands to remain focussed and vigilant in their areas of responsibility.