By Bukar Bolori
Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have arrested a 56-year-old widow and mother of four, Mrs. Ajisegiri Sidika at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos over attempt to traffic 400 grammes of cocaine concealed in her footwear to Makkah, Saudi Arabia.
The suspect, who claimed to be a businesswoman trading in adults and children’s wears on Lagos Island, was intercepted on Sunday 13th November while trying to board a Qatar Airways flight going to Saudi Arabia via Doha, and upon a critical examination of the pair of sandals she was wearing, two parcels of cocaine weighing 400 grammes were recovered. In the same vein, attempts by a tricycle parts seller, Ayoade Tayo to send 1 kilogramme of tramadol 225mg and Rohypnol to Istanbul, Turkey via Cairo on an Egypt Airline flight same day were also frustrated by NDLEA operatives who arrested him.
He was at the airport to hand over the drugs hidden inside a bag of food items to an intending passenger, Idowu Ayoade but was arrested before he succeeded in doing that.
An intending passenger to Oman via Asky airline, Agbamuche Nkeonye and a lady, Adeoye Fatimo who accompanied him to present a bag containing varieties of foodstuffs and body lotion which were used to conceal 1.10 kilogrammes cannabis and some Rohypnol capsules were also arrested at the departure hall of the Lagos airport last Thursday.
Anti-narcotics officers attached to the SAHCO export shed of the airport equally foiled attempts by traffickers to smuggle consignments of cannabis and ecstasy tablets concealed in three tubers of yam going to Dubai, UAE last Wednesday. The freight agent who presented the yams for export, Inegbu Akunna was promptly arrested while the consignor, Ahmodu Sulaimon was also nabbed thereafter. At the Brawal container shed of Kirikiri lighter terminal in Lagos, NDLEA operatives equally intercepted cartons of deadly drinks in a container marked APZU3671697 during a joint examination with Customs. Though the bill of lading indicated that the container originated from Cape town, South Africa, a search of the the shippers’ database showed it was loaded from Antwerp, Belgium. A full inspection of the container last Thursday showed a total of five cartons of beverages labeled as Euphoria cannabis beer and three cartons of cannabis energy drink were found. Other drinks in the container include: 21 cartons of a drink labeled as monkey shoulder; 20 cartons of dead man’s finger; and 139 of champagne fruit, among others.
In a related development, not less than 5.6 kilogrammes of methamphetamine, cocaine and tramadol were discovered in items like play station, bicycles, motor propeller and local fabrics packaged for export to Australia and Cyprus through some courier firms in Lagos. Two suspects, Gabriel Emeka and Vintura Grillo have been arrested in a follow up operation linked to one of the seizures.
In Niger state, NDLEA operatives on stop and search operation along Mokwa-Jebba road on Saturday 12th November arrested two suspects; Ismail Musa and Jidda Abbas with 10,780 bottles of Akuskura, a new psychoactive substance concealed inside two Toyota Camry saloon cars marked AGL 861 GS Lagos and KMK 118 SC Bayelsa.
The consignment loaded in Ibadan, Oyo state, was going to Abuja for distribution.While operatives intercepted 25,000 capsules of tramadol in Plateau and arrested the owner, Ifeanyi Nweanwe, a beer parlour operator in a follow up operation in Bauchi, pharmaceutical opioids worth more than N30 million were intercepted in a commercial bus in Asaba, Delta state last Thursday.
In Ondo state, operatives stormed the Ijare forest, in Ifedore local government area last Friday where a total of 600.5 kilogrammes of cannabis weed and seeds were recovered, while 142.8 kilogrammes of the same substance were seized when NDLEA officers raided the zone 3 motor park in Wuse area of Abuja.
Also, operatives on routine stop and search patrol along Owerri-Onitsha road arrested a suspect Nwankwo Emmanuel, with 25 blocks of cannabis sativa weighing 12.5 kilogrammes in a commercial bus going to Port Harcourt from Lagos.
In his reaction to the arrests and seizures in the past week, Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (Retd), commended the officers and men of the MMIA, Tincan, Delta, FCT, Niger, Ondo, and Plateau Commands as well as those of the Directorate of Operations and General Investigations, DOGI, for their passion, commitment and remarkable efforts to get results in their areas of responsibility.
He enjoined them and their compatriots across the country to stay focused and resilient in the pursuit of the agency’s corporate goal.