NDLEA Seizes Cocaine Worth N28bn From Hair Stylist, Others at Lagos Airport

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NDLEA Seizes Cocaine Worth N28bn From Hair Stylist, Others at Lagos Airport
Obiajulu Joel Nwolu

Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, recovered cocaine worth N21bn from a hairstylist, identified as Jennifer Onyejegbu at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.

Reports say the operatives also discovered another drug confirmed to be cocaine worth N7bn in luggage abandoned at the E-arrival hall of the airport after the inward clearance of passengers on Ethiopian airline.

It was gathered that information on the luggage tag suggest it arrived in Nigeria from Sao Paulo, Brazil, a destination classified as a high-risk country going by records and trends of arrest and seizures.

The agency arrested four persons; Abubakar Aliyu, Ikechukwu Eze, Emmanuel Aniebonam and Onwurah Kelvin in connection with the drug.

The two seizures were reportedly made on January 25 and 27, with the 26.840 kilograms cocaine recovered from 33-year-old Onyejegbu. It was described as the biggest single seizure from an individual in the past 15 years.

An official of the agency said, “The female passenger (Onyejegbu) arrived in Nigeria from Sao Paulo, Brazil via Addis Ababa, was intercepted by NDLEA operatives. As a standard operating procedure, all passengers to and from high-risk countries are always profiled using passengers’ manifest. It happened that the above-named suspect was targeted.

“Consequently, she was taken to the NDLEA office at the airport, where her bags were searched thoroughly, and in the process, whitish powdery substances were found concealed inside 16 pieces of duvet contained in her two travel bags.

“Field test was conducted on the recovered substances and proved positive to be cocaine weighing 26.850kg. The suspect who is a hairstylist and based in Brazil was interviewed and she confessed to have agreed to smuggle the hard drug for the sum of N2m.”

“The street value of this singular seizure is put at over N21bn,” the official added.

Similarly, a senior official of the anti-narcotic agency said the abandoned bag recovered two days earlier was also sent from Sao Paulo.

The source said, “Subsequently, the bag was transferred to the NDLEA ‘Legal Seat’ being the administrative office at the passenger terminal of the MMIA for detention. While this was going on, the NDLEA Commander at the MMIA, Ahmadu Garba, received an intelligence report of a purported plan to clear a consignment containing hard drugs through the Lagos airport.

“Coincidentally, the details sent matched the bag earlier detained by the operatives at the Lagos airport. In a coordinated operation, on January 27, 2021, an NDLEA undercover agent was contacted by one Abubakar Aliyu. Guided by the operation and investigation unit, the undercover agent successfully lured the said Aliyu into the cargo terminal of the airport where he was arrested.”

Reports say another suspect, Aniebonam, who was to receive the bag on the orders of one Ikechukwu Eze, at NAHCO was also arrested through Aliyu.

This post was written by Obiajulu Joel Nwolu.

The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.

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