By Ifeanyi Okolie
A 31-year-old suspected Nigerian drug trafficker, Salawu Adebayo Shamshudeen is thanking his stars inside the cells of the National Drug law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) following his narrow escape from being executed in far-away China.
In fact, his relations and well-wishers besieged his cell jubilating instead of lamenting that the long arms of the law caught up with him. This is because his attempt to smuggle drugs into China where he could have faced death penalty was thwarted after eagle-eyed officials of the Agency intercepted him at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport recently.
The Agency’s intervention brought to the fore the grave consequences of drug trafficking. The suspect, Salawu Adebayo Shamsideen, 31, a trader at Lagos Island was intercepted by anti-narcotics operatives at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) Lagos during the outward screening of passengers on Qatar Airways flight to China.
Two kilogrammes of substance that tested positive to methamphetamine using the United Nations drug testing kit was allegedly recovered from his luggage. The drug which was concealed in the false bottom of his bag was found to be carefully wrapped with carbon paper.
NDLEA preliminary investigation revealed that the carbon paper was allegedly used to prevent scanning machines from detecting the drug. The use of carbon paper is yet another means of giving false hope to traffickers that illicit drugs will not be detected by drug law enforcement agents at screening points.
Besides, the suspect who succumbed to the criminal act with a promise of 5,000 dollars would have faced death penalty if caught in China. It was also gathered that methamphetamine is fast becoming drug users’ delight because of its potent effects when abused.
In his response to the arrest, Chairman of the NDLEA, Ahmadu Giade who described the suspect’s action as suicidal noted that he was delighted that the Agency had prevented what would have resulted to the execution of a Nigerian in a foreign country.
“This arrest is both exciting and significant to the agency because we have successfully prevented the shameful and untimely death of our citizen in a foreign land. Protecting the lives of citizens is delightful to us as a drug law enforcement agency because it is one of our cardinal objectives” Giade stated.
The anti-narcotic boss however warned prospective drug traffickers to renege on the criminal act in their interest as well of national security.
NDLEA Commander at the Lagos Airport, Alhaji Hamza Umar said that the drug was detected by narcotic officers at the baggage checking desk. He promised a thorough investigation into the case. According to him “The suspect was arrested following the discovery of the drug packed in a false bottom of his travel luggage.
This was made possible by the diligence and expertise of the Agency’s search experts. We hope to probe further into the case” Hamza stated.
The suspect who hails from Kogi State is a single father residing at the Lagos Island. According to him, “I sought for financial assistance and was asked to smuggle drugs. I am a petty trader at Mandilas Market, Lagos Island. I did not know that drug trafficking attracts death penalty in China. I was convinced with the offer of 5,000 dollars and a return ticket” Salawu lamented.