NDLEA Arrests 63 Suspected Drug Traffickers In Six Months At Lagos Airport

…Vows To Dismantle Criminal Network
The Chief Executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Col. Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah (rtd.) has disclosed that the agency arrested 63 suspected drug traffickers with 484.11kgs of drugs between January and June, 2016.
He also disclosed that suspected drug barons also abandoned 336.090kgs of the seized drugs between the same periods.
Abdallah, who also promised to dismantle drug syndicates in the country, gave the assurance as the agency released its scorecard at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos between January and June 2016.
Abdallah said that Nigeria will continue to subscribe to the principle of shared responsibility and international collaboration in dismantling drug cartels.
In his words, “the agency is maximising the benefits of Airport Communication Programme (AIRCOP) by coordinating joint international operations. We will continue to build capacity in risk analysis, drug detection methodology and tracing of illicit drug proceeds. This is aimed at identifying and dismantling criminal networks”.
The NDLEA boss noted that the agency reacted swiftly to new tactics of drug trafficking by intercepting 22.530kgs of drugs originating from Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
“As an intelligence-driven agency, we realised the sudden use of Dubai as a transit point for cocaine originating from South America and successfully arrested 13 suspects with 22.530kgs of cocaine coming from Dubai.”
According to the airport commander, Mr. Ahmadu Garba, those arrested include 46 males and 17 females.
He gave the breakdown of drugs are as follows; Cocaine, 35kgs, Heroin 8.460kg, Methamphetamine 54.4kg, Ephedrine 6.120kg, Cannabis 5.470kg and Psychotropic substances 374.630kg.
He hinted that 20 suspects were nabbed attempting to export drugs while 25 were caught importing drugs into the country, adding that 18 suspects were apprehended during follow-up operations while 10 suspected traffickers were caught importing 7.695kgs of cocaine from Brazil and 13 other suspects were arrested with 22.530kgs of cocaine from Dubai.
The Airport Commander listed the three abandoned seizures to include 25kgs of methamphetamine going to South Africa, 311kgs of tramadol originating from India and 0.090 grammes of cocaine from Brazil.
Monthly breakdown according to the Commander indicated that January was 6.300kgs and with 12 suspects arrested, February 54.760kgs and 10 suspects, March 39.485kgs and 13 suspects, April 28.035kgs and 13 suspects, May 353.945kgs and 13 suspects while June is 1.585kgs and 2 suspects.
The agency disclosed that a 46 year old fashion designer based in Spain, Godfrey Rita reportedly collected 1.525kgs of cocaine while at the airport in Dubai on her way from Spain.
The wraps of cocaine according to the anti narcotic agency were packed inside duty-free polythene bag and she was intercepted during inward screening of passengers on an Emirate flight from Dubai.
NDLEA also stated that in addition, Seriki Muktar Adebayo, 26 year old was nabbed with 2.070kgs of heroin onboard an Ethiopian airline flight from Mozambique, which are not usual drug trafficking routes.
Confessing Rita, who hail from Edo State said that she was promised half N500, 000 to smuggle the drugs from Dubai.
According to her, “I am a trainee fashion designer living in Spain. I have financial problem and was introduced into drug trafficking by a friend. They told me that somebody will give me the drug while on transit in Dubai. While at the airport, a man approached me and said that you are Rita. He introduced himself that he is from my friend and gave me the drug in a duty-free bag. I was surprised when the drug was discovered here because it was not hidden at all. I never checked it. I just kept it in my bag the way it was given to me. I was so disappointed in myself”
On his part Seriki Muktar, who hails from Osun State said that he left Nigeria as a footballer in search of a good club.
“After a fruitless search for a football club in Tanzania for some months, I moved to Mozambique. Still, I could not secure a club. In the process, I exhausted my money and was practically stranded. I was so disappointed and frustrated that I needed to return home. At this point I had no choice but to agree to smuggle drugs. I regret my action” Seriki lamented.