By Sade Williams
Officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) Lagos have made twin arrest on Nigeria-Brazil route.
The Agency recovered 700 grammes of powdery substance that tested positive for cocaine from two suspects during the inward screening of passengers on a Royal Air Maroc flight from Sao Paulo, Brazil through Casablanca, Morocco.
Mitchell Ofoyeju, NDLEA spokesman, said the suspects inserted seven wraps of cocaine each weighing 350 grammes into their alimentary canals to evade arrest.
NDLEA commander at the Lagos airport, Ahmadu Garba gave the names of the suspects as Okonkwo Francis Okechukwu,44, and Ifedigbo Chinedu Lucky, 37.
“Preliminary investigation revealed that both suspects planned and executed the unlawful act together. They inserted seven wraps of cocaine each into their bodies weighing 350 grammes” the commander stated.
Okonkwo Francis Okechukwu said that accepting to smuggle drugs due to frustration and as a means of returning from Brazil.
According to Okonkwo, “I was stranded in Brazil where I worked as a waiter in a restaurant for two years. Life was awful as I was struggling daily just to feed myself. When I was contacted to smuggle cocaine to Nigeria, I was very happy because it was an opportunity to return home. My sponsor also promised to pay me half a million naira with which I had planned to start a business”. He is married with two children and hails from Enugu State.
Ifedigbo Chinedu Lucky who had also spent two years in Brazil described his arrest as ill-luck. “I am a business man. I import female shoes from Brazil since 2014. This arrest is just bad luck for me because I was already calculating my profit from the deal” the 37 year-old suspect stated. He is single and hails from Anambra State.
Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah said that the Agency will not relent in the fight against drug trafficking. “NDLEA is committed to the fight against narcotic production and trafficking. Brazil is a source country for cocaine and I am glad with the high level of vigilance on the route resulting in several arrests and seizures. It is however sad that the suspects could insert narcotics into their alimentary canals in utter disregard of the health consequences.
The suspects, he said will be arraigned soon.