Travel agents nabbed for drug trafficking

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By EVELYN USMAN
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA has smashed a syndicate that operates under the cover of travel agency to smuggle hard drugs out of the country, arresting two suspected members of the syndicate.

The suspects, were reportedly apprehended at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, with 4.660kg of substance suspected to be methamphetamine.

The duo of Gwacham Emmanuel Orakwe, 25, and Alhaji Ayila Kolawole, 47, according to the Agency’s head, Public Affairs, Ofoyeju Mitchell, concealed the recovered drugs in five parcels .

During interrogation by the airport commander ,Hamza Umar, Ofoyeju said it was discovered that “Gwacham Emmanuel Orakwe’s role was to smuggle the drug to India while Alhaji Ayila Kolawole was the one coordinating his movement.

“Both of them were apprehended at the car park with 4.660kg of methamphetamine. The drug was packed in five parcels in the bag of Gwacham who had a valid Emirate ticket to India.

“Preliminary investigation revealed that Ayila contracted Gwacham Emmanuel Orakwe to traffic drugs to India for a fee. He also bought return ticket and promised to facilitate the safe departure of Gwacham thus making him the brain behind the attempted illicit exportation of 4.660kg of methamphetamine to Mumbai, India”, Ofoyeju said.

In his statement to narcotic investigators,   Orakwe said he was smuggling drugs to make ends meet.

The Anambra state-born suspect   said: “I attended De Apex Creative Minds Academy Ogbunike, Anambra State ,where I had my O levels in 2005. Thereafter, I travelled to Libya in search of greener pastures but came back with multiplied pains. At present I do casual jobs to feed myself. That was the reason I accepted to smuggle the drugs for two thousand five hundred dollars ( N400,000)” .

On his part, Kolawole, a father of three   stated that : “I bought the return ticket for Orakwe and promised to assist him travel with the drug without being arrested”.

Reacting to the arrest, the Chairman/Chief Executive of the NDLEA, Ahmadu Giade, reinstated the Agency’s commitment   to unmask members of drug syndicates boasting that, “whatever trick drug barons apply, we shall expose them.

“This arrest is important for the Agency because we have moved beyond the courier to the mastermind of the illicit exportation. Investigation is on-going and more arrests shall be made,” Giade stated, adding that the suspects would be charged to court soon”.

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