By DANIEL ETEGHE
IKEJA— Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, over the weekend arrested a 26-year-old man for allegedly smuggling 8.5kg of methamphetamine worth about N27 million tactically concealed inside metal pipes at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.
The suspect, Mr. Afunaya Thaddeus Izunna, who sells phone accessories in Ikeja, Lagos, was apprehended with the narcotic drug during the screening of passengers on Ethiopian airline flight to New Delhi, India.
Speaking on the arrest, the NDLEA Airport Commander, Mr. Hamza Umar, said the drug was discovered when anti-narcotic officilas insisted in searching the metal pipes inside Izunna’s luggage.
According to Umar, the drug with a total weight of 8.5kg is one of the highest seizures recently recorded at the airport.
He said: “This is one of the largest seizures recorded at the Lagos airport in recent time. It was a clever mode of concealment, but I am glad we were able to detect it and the suspect apprehended. The case is under investigation.”
On the development, NDLEA Chairman, Mr. Ahmadu Giade, said: “This is a spectacular seizure because the drug was carefully concealed in a way that makes detection difficult. The significance is that a warning signal has been sent to the enemy camp that one of their best tricks is not good enough. This has been my position and order to the officers that drugs should be intercepted regardless of the mode of concealment.”
The NDLEA boss however stressed that the suspect would soon be charged to court.
Narrating hir ordeals, the suspect, Mr. Izunna who hails from Anambra State noted that he was asked to deliver the drug to somebody in India for a fee.
According to the suspect who is married with 2 children, “I am a trader. I sell phone accessories at Ikeja to take care of my wife and two children. It was a friend that gave me the metal pipes that I should take them to India for a fee. I did not know when, how and where it was packed. I was only given the bag containing the pipes”
“Unfortunately, when I got to the airport during screening, NDLEA officers discovered the drug and I was arrested. This is my first time of smuggling drugs. I hope my wife will understand and forgive men” Afunaya pleaded.