By Albert Akpor
THERE seemed to be no end in sight to variousÂ Â tricks employed by drug peddlers to beat the prying eyes of operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in their quest to export hard drugs out of the country.
In recent past,Â there had been instances of hard drugs being concealed in shoe soles, belts, ingested and sometimes inserted into anuse or vagina in the case of female peddlers.
However, a recent discovery which almost outwitted operatives of the anti-drug agency at the departure lounge of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos was the concealment of the hard stuff in a roasted chicken.
A bewildered Airport Commander of the agency, Mr. Victor Cole Shower described the concealment as â€œsuperbâ€ noting that, â€œdrug pushersÂ are daily devising means of perpetrating their devilfish actâ€.
The prime suspect, a 29-year-old Owolabi Opeyemi who claimed to be a trader based in Mumbai, India had arrived the international airport with the aim of boarding an Ethiopian airline flight to India with a 3.55kg of cocaine stuffed in a chicken and cleverly tucked in a bag containing other foodstuffs.
At the baggage screening point, he had submitted his bag for the compulsory screening, beaming with smiles as if there was nothing incriminating in the bag.Â Before the screening commenced, Owolabi had cleverly removed the chicken from the bag pretending to be munching it and handed it over to his acclaimed brother, one Mr. Lekan Fagbemi a Carpenter by profession,
while the searching lasted.
Satisfied with screening, he was asked to proceed for boarding and he stretched his hand for the chicken, unknown to him that other operatives were monitoring events.
However, no sooner than he waved bye-bye to his friends and moved on, he was asked to step aside by a special operative who suspected the roasted chicken and jokingly demanded to have a bit of it.
He was unaware that when he smartly removed the chicken earlier from the bagÂ while the screening of his luggage was on, an operative had spotted him.
When the chicken was opened, it was discovered that the hard stuff was carefully tucked inside.
He was consequently placed under arrest.Â His alleged accomplices,Â Lekan Fegbemi and Suliaman Segun who accompanied him to the airport were equally nabbed outside the airport as they attempted to board an airport taxi to leave.
Suspect Opeyemi who broke down in tears upon seeing his accomplices in the net of operatives owned up to the crime but blamed hardship for his travail.
Commander Victor Cole-Shower described India as a source country for opium poppy used for the production of heroin adding that while heroin and morphine are exported from Indian, other drugs like cocaine are taking there.
He assured that the case will be strictly investigated and suspects would be charged to court.