THE National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) says it has intercepted cocaine consignments at Port Harcourt, Abuja and Lagos airports and arrested five alleged traffickers.
In a statement signed by its spokesman, Femi Babafemi, the agency said desperate attempts by Brazil-based drug cartels to smuggle large consignments of cocaine into Nigeria through three major international airports in Port Harcourt, Abuja and Lagos had been foiled by its operatives.
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Babafemi said five suspects were arrested on Saturday April 9, 2022 at the Port Harcourt International Airport, with three of them arrested during the inward screening of passengers on board Qatar Airline flight QR1433 from Doha to Port Harcourt with 24.96 kilogrammes of cocaine.
The first suspect, 51-year-old Udogwu James Johnson, who hails from Orlu LGA, Imo State, was arrested allegedly with 5.48kg of cocaine concealed in lotion plastic bottles sealed with candle wax. He was said to have claimed he agreed to traffic the drug for a fee of N1 million.
Also arrested is Ezekwueme Ifeanyi Valentine, 32, from Aguata LGA, Anambra State, who was caught allegedly with 10.82kg cocaine packed in 84 sachets concealed in seven duvets, while the third trafficker, Chiezie Ikechukwu Arinze, 35, from Dunukofia LGA, Anambra State, was arrested allegedly with 8.66kg cocaine hidden in 115 golden and silver colour 30ml breakable bottles factory-packaged, with lotion on top.
Chiezie Ikechukwu Arinze, 35, from Dunukofia LGA, Anambra State, was also arrested allegedly with 8.66kg cocaine hidden in 115 golden and silver colour 30ml breakable bottles factory packaged with lotion on top.
The fourth suspect, Uchechukwu Onwugbufor, 42, from Idemili North LGA, Anambra State, was arrested at the airport car park while allegedly waiting to receive one of the traffickers, Udogwu James, and his consignment.
At the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja, a Psychology graduate of Imo State University, Owerri, Sebastine Emeka Kelvin, 30, was arrested allegedly with 74 pellets of cocaine weighing 1.454kg on arrival aboard an Ethiopian Airline flight on Wednesday April 13, 2022.
The father of one who claims to be a motor spare parts dealer is from Ezeagu in Ezeagu LGA, Enugu State.
In Lagos, another Brazil-based passenger, Uba Samuel, was arrested at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) by NDLEA operatives on Friday, April 15, 2022 on arrival aboard an Ethiopian Airline flight from Sao Paulo, via Addis Ababa, to Lagos allegedly with sachets of cocaine weighing 633 grammes concealed in his footwear and toothpaste tube.
The suspect claims to be a shoemaker and barber and hails from Umunneochi, Abia State.