By Sade Williams
The Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in 2016 arrested 103 suspected drug traffickers and seized over 779.919kgs of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances with an estimated street value of N30 billion
Those arrested include 17 females and 86 males. 42 of the suspects were intercepted while bringing drugs into the country while sixty-one (61) others were nabbed attempting to smuggle drugs out of the country.
Several methods employed by drug traffickers to hide their drugs from narcotic officers at the airport include luggage packing in foodstuff, body concealment, ingestion and anal insertion.
NDLEA commander at the Lagos airport, Ahmadu Garba gave the breakdown of seized drugs as follows; psychotropic substances 411.77kg, methamphetamine 175.365kg, ephedrine 102.010kg, cocaine 45.415kg, cannabis 27.616kg and heroin 17.740kg.
Apart from the estimated value of the seized drugs, physical cash seized within the year under review include three hundred and twenty-six thousand, one hundred and forty Euro (€326,140) and thirty-eight thousand, eight hundred dollars ($38,800). The figures indicate an increase of one hundred and eighty-seven (187kg) over drugs seized in 2015 and a reduction of arrests made by thirty-nine (39).
Chairman/Chief Executive of the Agency, Col. Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah (retd) said that the threat of drug trafficking must be eliminated in the interest global peace and development.
He however assured that the Agency has adopted measures to prevent drug syndicates from enjoying the illicit proceeds of drug trafficking. Abdallah made this known at the presentation of 2016 performance report of the Lagos airport command.
The NDLEA boss while commending the performance of the Lagos airport command noted that effective drug control is crucial in promoting sustainable development. In his words, “drug trafficking constitutes a threat to global health, peace as well as economic growth. The successful seizure of drugs from cartels worth over thirty billion naira is impressive and commendable. This feat was achieved due to effective collaboration, strict law enforcement practice, dedication of officers and judicious application of knowledge acquired through capacity building programmes”.
The Agency therefore called on stakeholders not to relent in the fight against eradication of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.
Meanwhile, in 2015, the airport command arrested 142 suspects comprising 122 males and 20 females. It also seized 172kg of cannabis, 160kg of ephedrine, 114kg of methamphetamine, 96kg of cocaine, 45kg of tramadol and 5kg of heroin all weighing 592.9kg.