THE National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has arrested a Brazilian returnee, Igwedum Uche Benson, at the arrival hall of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Ikeja, Lagos, with pellets of cocaine concealed in his private part.
Benson was arrested on Monday June 20, 2022 upon his arrival on Ethiopian Airlines from Sao Paulo, Brazil, via Addis Ababa.
According to a statement signed by the Director, Media & Advocacy of the NDLEA, Femi Babafemi, preliminary investigations revealed that the suspect had swallowed 50 wraps of cocaine before departing Brazil, and excreted 48 pellets in Addis Ababa, where he handed them over to another person.
“He, however, claimed he was unable to excrete the remaining two wraps at the hotel room in Addis Ababa before boarding his flight but later excreted them in the aircraft restroom during the flight from Ethiopia to Lagos,” the statement said.
The NDLEA also said it has arrested a drug kingpin, Onyekachi Chukwuma Macdonald.
“After three weeks of painstaking investigation and tracking, operatives of the MMIA command of the NDLEA, on Saturday night, 25th June, arrested a drug kingpin, Onyekachi Chukwuma Macdonald, behind attempts to export 40 parcels of methamphetamine, popularly called Mkpuru Mmiri locally to London, United Kingdom through the NAHCO export shed of the Lagos airport.
“Onyekachi was arrested at Manacola estate, Alakuko area of Lagos at the weekend, three weeks after his Mkpuru Mmiri consignment weighing 2.05 kilograms was intercepted at the airport, and his freight agent, Peter Christopher Anikan, arrested on 7th June.
“During his interview, the suspect said he’s from Ahiazu, Mbaise Local Government Area of Imo State and had lived in Dubai, UAE for ten years before returning to Nigeria in 2019.
“He stated that after returning to Nigeria, he opened a phone accessories shop in Sango Otta, Ogun State, but the business collapsed. He then started sending cigarettes to London and decided to conceal the illicit drug in the consignment after advice from a friend,” the agency stated.
In another development, the anti-graft agency announced the seizure of another consignment of 2kg Mkpuru Mmiri at a courier house in Owerri, Imo State.
According to the NDLEA, the cargo was seized on Wednesday June 22, 2022 and had ankara and lace fabrics in which two cylindrical kinds of cellophane containing the drug heading to Hong Kong were concealed.
Also, the NDLEA said that on Friday June 24, 2022, its operatives intercepted 500,000 tablets of 225mg of tramadol packed in 10 cartons and labelled Tramaking imported from Karachi, Pakistan, on Emirates Airline.
The consignment, weighing 407.60kg, was seized during a joint examination with Customs and NAFDAC officials.
On the same day, a Dubai, UAE-bound passenger, Alegbeleye Taiwo, was arrested at the departure hall of the MMIA with 40 ampoules of pentazocine injection. The 21-year-old suspect claimed he’s from Osun state.
The NDLEA also successfully arrested two kingpins behind the importation of two recent drug consignments from Canada concealed in vehicle containers through the Tincan seaport in Apapa, Lagos.
One of them, Gboyega Ayoola Elegbeji, was arrested at his house, 14 Bakare Street, Idi Araba, Lagos, on Wednesday June 22, 2022, for importing a 40-foot container, TRHU7874497, containing 33 parcels of cannabis indica (colorado) weighing16.5kg.
The second suspect, Sunday Joe Oyebola (aka Otunba), who the agency said had been on the run since March and had attempted to bribe officers with N10 million to influence the case, was arrested on Thursday, June 23, 2022.
According to the statement, Oyebola was linked to the importation of a 40ft container, MEDU4389887, containing four vehicles used to conceal 290 parcels weighing 145kg cannabis indica (colorado) from Montreal, Canada.