NDLEA seizes cocaine, heroin worth N30bn at Lagos Airport

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has seized heroin and cocaine worth N30 billion at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos State.

The drugs were said to have been seized from Onyejegbu Ifesinachi Jennifer, a 33-year-old lady, who arrived Nigeria on Wednesday from Sao Paulo, Brazil.

The seizure weighing 26.840 kilograms is said to be the biggest single seizure from an individual in the past 15 years.

The drugs were reportedly seized after she was searched in line with NDLEA protocol profiling passengers “from high risk countries”.

“Field test was conducted on the recovered substances and proved positive to Cocaine and weighed 26.850kilograms. The suspect who is a hair stylist and based in Brazil was interviewed and she confessed to have agreed to smuggle the hard drug for the sum of N2 million only,” an official said.

“Although she refused to disclose the names of her associates, she mentioned that she was asked to hand over the drugs to another person. The street value of this singular seizure is put at over N21 million.

“The official further disclosed that the development came on the heels of a similar one recorded two days earlier at the airport, precisely on January 25, 2021 when a red left-over luggage was declared to the NDLEA operatives as a left over at the E- arrival hall after the inward clearance of passengers on Ethiopian airline.

“Based on information on the luggage tag, the luggage arrived Nigeria from Sao Paulo, Brazil, a destination classified as high-risk country going by records and trends of arrest and seizures. Subsequently, the bag was transferred to the NDLEA Legal Seat being the administrative office at the passenger terminal of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, for detention.

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“While this was going on, the NDLEA Commander at the MMIA, Ahmadu Garba received an intelligence report of a purported plan to clear a consignment containing hard drugs through the Lagos airport.

“Coincidentally, the details sent matched the bag earlier detained by the operatives at the Lagos airport. In a coordinated operation, on January 27, 2021, an NDLEA undercover agent was contacted by one Abubakar Aliyu.

“Guided by the operation and investigation unit, the undercover agent successfully lured the said Abubakar Aliyu into the cargo terminal of the airport where he was arrested. The suspect revealed to NDLEA operatives that another person was on his way to receive the bag based on the instruction of his sender who he gave his name as Ikechukwu Eze.”

The official said one Emmanuel Iyke Aniebonam was also arrested based on the information given by Aliyu.

“Emmanuel confessed that he was instructed by one Ikechukwu to receive the consignment. Emmanuel was again set up to lure in Ikechukwu Eze but rather than showing up to get the consignment from Emmanuel, he sent another who said he was mandated to receive the consignment from him, and they agreed to meet at Ibis Royal Hotel, a few miles away from the airport,” he said.

“A follow-up operation was quickly organised to the hotel, where one Onwurah Kelvin was arrested and brought to the office.”