NDLEA Arrests Seven Traffickers and Intercepts Cocaine Shipments at Port Harcourt, Abuja and Lagos Airports

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Agents from the National Drug Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have arrested seven traffickers and thwarted desperate attempts by Brazil-based drug cartels to smuggle large shipments of cocaine into Nigeria through three major international airports at Port Harcourt, Abuja and Lagos.

Agency spokesman Femi Babafemi, in a statement yesterday, said five suspects were arrested on Saturday, April 9, at Port Harcourt International Airport.

According to him, three of them were arrested during the internal control of passengers on board Qatar Airline flight QR1433 from Doha to Port Harcourt.

The three suspects, he said, left Sao Paulo, Brazil aboard the same Qatari flight, en route from Doha to Abuja and Port Harcourt with a total of 24.96 kilograms of cocaine.

He said: “The first is Udogwu James Johnson, 51, from Orlu Local Council of Imo State. He was arrested with 5.48 kg of cocaine concealed in plastic lotion bottles sealed with candle wax. He claimed that he agreed to traffic the drug for a fee of N1 million.

“Also arrested is Ezekwueme Ifeanyi Valentine, 32, from the Aguata Local Council of Anambra State, who was captured with 10.82 kg of cocaine packed in 84 envelopes hidden in seven quilts, while the third trafficker, Chiezie Ikechukwu Arinze , 35, from the Dunukofia Local Council. Anambra State, was arrested with 8.66kg of cocaine concealed in 115 gold and silver 30ml breakable bottles, factory packed with a lotion on top.”

Babafemi said the fourth suspect, Uchechukwu Onwugbufor, 42, from Anambra State North Idemili Local Council, was arrested in the airport parking lot while waiting to receive one of the smugglers, Udogwu James, and his shipment.

According to him, the suspect claimed that someone contacted him in Brazil to receive Udogwu and take him to Lagos for a fee of N100,000. Uchechukwu Onwugbufor was at the airport with his neighbor, Nwogu Ezimadu, who is also being investigated to determine if he is accessory to the crime or not.

“At Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja, a Psychology graduate of Imo State University, Owerri, Sebastian Emeka Kelvin, 30, was arrested with 74 granules of cocaine weighing 1,454kg on arrival on board. of the Ethiopian Airlines flight en route Doula-Addis Ababa. -Abuja on Wednesday, April 13.

“The father of one, who claims to be an engine spare parts dealer, is from Ezeagu in Enugu State Ezeagu Local Council. He said that he lived in Cameroon for six years before entering the drug business to raise money to boost his business. He claimed that he was introduced to the man who gave him the drugs in Addis Ababa by another person who was serving a prison sentence for drug offenses at Doula Newbell Prison.

“In Lagos, another Brazil-based passenger, Uba Samuel, was arrested at Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), by NDLEA agents on Friday, April 15, upon arriving aboard an Ethiopian Airlines flight from Sao Paulo via Addis Ababa to Lagos with envelopes of cocaine. with a weight of 633 grams hidden in his shoes and a tube of toothpaste.

“The suspect, who claims to be a shoemaker and a hairdresser, is from Umunneochi, Abia state. While accepting ownership of the drug, he said that he used his knowledge of shoemaking to hide the drug in his pair of sandals. Uba, who is a regular traveler, confessed that he bought the drug to sell it in a market in Abia,” Babafemi added.

MEANWHILE, more illicit substances were recovered in raids in other parts of the country.

In the Gadaka village of the Yobe State Fika Local Council, anti-narcotics officers arrested Hassan Usman with a total of 22, 110 tablets of tramadol, D5 and Exol 5, while Ali Mohammed was caught in a commercial vehicle coming from Kano to Maiduguri. with 40 blocks of cannabis weighing 33kg.

Driver Ibrahim Khalil Idris was also arrested on the Kano-Maiduguri route with 60 packages of tramadol, all on Tuesday, April 12.

In Kogi state, 750 blocks of cannabis weighing 750 kg were seized from two suspects; Hassan Adamu, 25, and Abdulmalik Abdullahi, 24, on the Okene-Abuja road. The drug displays were hidden inside fabricated panels of a Ford bus.

Meanwhile, NDLEA President/Executive Director Brig. General Mohamed Buba Marwa (retired) praised the officers and men of the various commandos for disrupting the drug cartels’ attempts to traffic dangerous drugs into Nigeria and throughout the country.

He said the huge seizures at airports will send a strong message to drug lords that Nigeria will no longer be their safe destination or transit route.

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