The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, on Sunday, confirmed the arrest of a 56-year-old widow, Ajisegiri Sidika, for allegedly attempting to traffic 400grams of cocaine concealed in her footwear to Makkah, Saudi Arabia, through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Ikeja, Lagos State.
The spokesperson for the agency, Femi Babafemi, in a statement, said the suspect, who claimed to be a businesswoman trading in adult and children’s wears, was intercepted on Sunday, November 13, while trying to board a Qatar Airways flight going to Saudi Arabia via Doha.
According to Babafemi, upon a critical examination of the pair of sandals she was wearing, two parcels of cocaine weighing 400grams were recovered from them.
He added, “In the same vein, attempts by a tricycle parts seller, Ayoade Tayo, to send 1kg 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.”
The anti-narcotics agency’s spokesperson also noted that an intending passenger to Oman via Asky airline, Agbamuc 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 1.10kg cannabis and some Rohypnol capsules were also arrested at the departure hall of the Lagos airport on Thursday, November 18.
Babafemi added that 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 on Wednesday, November 17.
He said, “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 shippers’ database showed it was loaded from Antwerp, Belgium.
“A full inspection of the container on Thursday, November 18, showed a total of five cartons of beverages labelled as Euphoria cannabis beer and three cartons of cannabis energy drink were found. Other drinks in the container include 21 cartons of a drink labelled as monkey shoulder; 20 cartons of dead man’s finger; and 139 of champagne fruit, among others.”
In a related development, Babafemi said not less than 5.6 kilograms of methamphetamine, cocaine and tramadol were discovered in items like play stations, bicycles, motor propellers and local fabrics packaged for export to Australia and Cyprus through some courier firms in Lagos.
He noted that two suspects, Gabriel Emeka and Vintura Grillo, have been arrested in a follow-up operation linked to one of the seizures.
He added, “In Niger State, NDLEA operatives on stop and search operation along Mokwa-Jebba road on Saturday, November 12, 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 State and arrested the owner, Ifeanyi Nweanwe, a beer parlour operator in a follow-up operation in Bauchi, Babafemi noted that pharmaceutical opioids worth more than N30m were intercepted in a commercial bus in Asaba, Delta State on Thursday, November 18.
He added, “In Ondo State, operatives stormed the Ijare forest, in Ifedore LGA on Friday, November 19, where a total of 600.5kgs of cannabis weed and seeds were recovered, while 142.8kgs of the same substance were seized when NDLEA officers raided the Zone 3 motor park in the Wuse area of Abuja.
“In the same vein, operatives on routine stop and search patrol along Owerri-Onitsha road arrested a suspect, Nwankwo Emmanuel, with 25 blocks of Cannabis Sativa weighing 12.5kgs in a commercial bus going to Port Harcourt from Lagos.”