Cocaine now concealed in degree certificates, body creams, says NDLEA

THE National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), on Sunday, exposed multiple tricks deployed by drug traffickers in the country.

The agency announced the gimmicks following the arrest of Obehi Isesele, a female passenger and Emmanuel Omebere, a male suspect who had planned to export 312 sachets of Tramadol weighing 1.5kg to Milan in Italy and 137.45 grams of the same product to Turkey, respectively.

While Isesele hid the tramadol in crayfish and dried vegetables, Omebere concealed the prohibited drug in food items.

The NDLEA Director of Media and Publicity Femi Babafemi, in a statement, revealed that the accused were arrested shortly before boarding their flights at the Lagos and Abuja international airports respectively.

According to him, attempts by other offenders to smuggle contrabands such as cocaine and heroin were disrupted by the agency.

He cited cases of drug traffickers who hid 60 grams of cocaine in degree certificates meant for Australia, 202 grams of cocaine in body cream containers heading for Australia, 720 grams of Canabis Sativa tucked in computer hard drives enroute the Dubai Arab Emirate (UAE), and 475 grams of heroin in food items, among others.

The tricks, he disclosed, were known to the security operatives, especially through intelligence gathering, hence the successful arrests.

“Some of these include 475grams of heroin concealed in food items going to Canada; 202grams of cocaine hidden in body cream containers going to Australia; 720grams of Cannabis Sativa tucked in computer hard drives heading to UAE and another 2.1kg of cannabis hidden in body cream bottles going to Oman, while 60grams of cocaine concealed in degree certificates meant for Australia was also seized, all from three courier firms in Lagos.

“Curiously, a 38-year-old pregnant woman, Kate Ngozi Nwuju was arrested on Tuesday, September 14 at her residence in Rumueme, Mile 4 area of Port Harcourt, Rivers state with 4.5kilograms of cannabis following intelligence that she sells drugs,” Babafemi added.

“Also, one Aliyu Saidu, suspected to be a fake soldier was arrested with 2.3kg of Cannabis Sativa in a commercial bus from Lagos to Makurdi, on Monday 13th of Sept at Aliade checkpoint, Benue State. In Kano, one Shuaibu Yusuf was arrested on Friday, September 17 with 537kg of cannabis sativa, concealed among bags of cement in a truck, while in Ogun state, five persons were arrested on Tuesday, September 14 after their truck conveying 552kg cannabis was intercepted at Ogere Remo, along Lagos-Ibadan expressway.”

A report by Global Financial Integrity puts money made from transnational crime covering 11 criminal acts at between $1.6 trillion and $2.2 trillion annually. The value of the drug trafficking arm, as at 2014, was estimated at $426 billion to $652 billion.



    “Cannabis was responsible for the largest share of drug trafficking, followed in order by cocaine, opiates, and amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS),” it stated.

    Another report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) revealed that despite actions from security and anti-trafficking bodies, only less than global illicit financial flow was being seized. The research report titled, ‘Estimating Illicit Financial Flows resulting from Drug Trafficking and Other Transnational Organised Crimes’ was released in October 2011.

    The NDLEA Chairman Mohammed Marwa, however, restated the organisation’s commitment to rid the society of illicit drugs.

    “…whether in their homes, on the streets, at the ports and deep in the forests, we’ll chase them with every legitimate force and smoke them out, up to the last man or woman if they fail to repent,” Marwa said recently while applauding his officers across the states.

    Olugbenga heads the Investigations Desk at The ICIR. Do you have a scoop? Shoot him an email at [email protected]. Twitter Handle: @OluAdanikin

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