By Albert Akpor
WITH recent clean bill of health accorded the Nigerian government by the United States for her inimitable fight against illicit trafficking in hard drugs, the National Drug Law Enforcement agency, NDLEA seemed to have resolved to fight drug traffickers and barons to a standstill, in spite of the various mode of concealment.
That hard drug traffickers are daily caught at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport by operatives of the anti-drug agency is no longer news; what is perhaps appalling is the arrest this week, of six able- bodied Nigerians who, for the quest for quick money, threw decency and risk to the winds and swallowed varying kilograms of cocaine.
The chairman and chief executive of NDLEA, Alhaji Ahmadu Giade, while speaking on the relentless traffickers while on an official visit to Vanguard’s corporate office, Lagos described the drug business as “devilfish and unrewarding.”
“This fight against trafficking on illicit hard drugs is one that we have resolved to fight and win in this country. Apart from the fact that the business is devilish and it is equally unrewarding, it destroys the lives of the youths of a nation and anything that does not add to the economic growth and development is an enemy to the nation and its citizenry.” Giade had said.
But the warning and condemnation of the anti- drug czar seemed to mean nothing to the six recently arrested Nigerians who ingested the hard stuff in their respective bowels.
The Airport commander of NDLEA, Alhaji Hamza who was equally baffled by the recent arrest and siezures gave the names of the suspects as Messrs Ikery Chryz,47, who ingested 110 wraps of cocaine weighing 1.455 kg, Alozie Chidi Dallas Kingsley,42, he ingested 73 wraps of cocaine weighing 1.050kg, Elochukwu Sunday Azubike,40-year-old, swallowed 78 wraps of heroin weighing 1.050kg, Nnoli Onyebuchi Joseph,31, ingested 63 wraps of cocaine weighing 850grammes. Whereas Okonkwo Hyacinth Okey,46, concealed 3.300 kg cocaine in his travel bag, Anyanso Frank Ndukwu,44, ingested 80 wraps of cocaine weighing 1.370kg.
Investigations revealed that Mr. Elochukwu Sunday Azubike, one of the suspects that ingested 78 wraps of heroin was arrested during the inward screening of passengers on Turkish Airways flight from Istanbul. And whereas, Azubike was smuggling heroin from Istanbul to the country, Mr. Okonkwo Hyacinth Okey was about boarding the same flight to Istanbul with 3.300kg of cocaine concealed on the sides of his luggage.
Apart from Alozie Chidi Dallas Kingsley that was going to Napoli in Italy and Ayanso Frank Ndukwu whose destination was Rome, Nnoli Onyebuchi Joseph was heading to Banjul, Gambia while Ikery Chryz was on his way to Ntebe in Uganda.
Alhaji Giade while commending his operatives for the recent feat however lamented that the vicious circle of arrest, arraignment and the granting of bail which eventually brings the barons back to business, was greatly aiding the unrelentlessness of drug traffickers in the country.
He assured that his agency was much more poised than ever to giving barons and their couriers the fight of their lives saying, “Drug barons are fast losing the war on drug smuggling.
Even when they introduce new trafficking routes, they still get caught and this is to tell you that we are not discouraged by the vicious circle of arrest, arraignment, granting of bail and back to business of these enemies of the society.”