The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) at the international wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos has arrested another 38 year-old man, Augustine Uchenna for allegedly attempting to smuggle 10.275kg of cannabis to China.
The drug was detected during the outward screening of passengers on an Ethiopian Airline flight to China at Lagos Airport.
According to NDLEA the suspect, who sells safety equipment at Lagos Island was caught attempting to smuggle 10.275kg of cannabis to China where drug trafficking attracts death penalty.
The arrests is coming less than two weeks after a Nigerian, Chijioke Obioha 38 years old was executed in Singapore for smuggling 2.6kgs of dried weeds that tested positive for cannabis.
According to NDLEA, the suspect, who sells safety equipment at Lagos Island was caught attempting to smuggle 10.275kg of cannabis to China where drug trafficking attracts death penalty.
NDLEA Commander at the Airport, Ahmadu Garba said that the drug was hidden inside foodstuff like garri, bitter leaf, bitter cola and other spices.
In his words, “it was a normal search operation during the screening of passengers on an Ethiopian Airline flight to China when 10.275kgs of cannabis was detected inside foodstuff. The owner of the bag was immediately arrested and case is under investigation”.
The anti drug agency stated that during interrogation, the suspect said that he was not aware that drug trafficking is punishable by death in China.
The suspect, the Commander stated would be arraigned in court soon.
“My friend in China promised to pay me six hundred thousand naira to take 10.275kgs of cannabis to China. This is my first time of smuggling drugs and I never knew that drug trafficking is punishable by death in China. I import safety equipment and I have been going to China to buy my goods since 2011. The economic recession affected my business that I find it hard to pay for my rent. This was what led me into drug trafficking” he stated.
Augustine hails from Enugu State and is married with three children.
The Chief Executive of the NDLEA, Col Muhammad Abdallah (rtd), said that countries with death penalty had been classified as high risk routes.
In his words, “the agency is taking measures to improve narcotic screening at the airports. All countries with death penalty for drug trafficking and source countries are high risk destinations. Efforts are also ongoing to promote public health and security. It is gratifying that this arrest was made here thereby preventing the suspect from death penalty in China. Let me use this opportunity to call on stakeholders not to relent in advocacy and drug abuse preventive education. Nigeria is making steady progress in the campaign and I urge you all to remain steadfast”.
Abdallah also called on individuals to consider the interest of their family members and the society before indulging in criminal acts capable of sending them to early graves.