By Kenneth Ehigiator
National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, has arrested a 60-year-old man (names withheld) at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, for drug trafficking.
Also picked up at the airport was a 47-year-old woman (names withheld)for a similar offence.
According to the agency, both suspects ingested a total 189 wraps of heroin, weighing 3.140kg.
While one ingested 83 wraps, weighing 1.120kg, the other ingested 106 wraps of cocaine, weighing 1.920kg.
It was learnt that the man, a transport administrator residing at Surulere, Lagos, would have been paid $10,000 if he had succeeded in taking the illicit drug out of the country.
He said: “My wife had a surgical operation that cost about N1.5 million last year. I am still paying the debt I incurred from the medical bill.
“All the same, it all started last year when I contemplated smuggling drugs. They gave me bitter cola to swallow which I did, but I later changed my mind after the trial.
“Three weeks ago, I was contacted by the same people and I agreed to do it for 10,000 dollars. Now I know that I have made a mistake.”
The woman suspect was to board a Virgin Atlantic flight to London when she was caught at the scanning point of the airport.
She would have been paid 3,500 pounds had she succeeded in trafficking the illicit drug.
She said: “I needed money for my medication because I am sick. When I met the people in Lagos, they promised to pay me 3,500 pounds and I agreed to swallow the drugs.”
“That was how they lodged me in a hotel where I ingested the drugs for about one and half day period. I am ashamed of myself,” she said.
Reacting to the arrest, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Ahmadu Giade, said the agency’s strategic plan aimed at stemming the illicit trade in narcotics as the year draws to a close was yielding positive result.
Alhaji Giade noted that recent high level of arrests of drug traffickers at the airport was associated with end of year rush, as traffickers tried to make as much money to celebrate Christmas in style.
He said: “End of year is usually associated with rise in crime rate as most people strive to make money for the yuletide season.
“This inordinate quest for money compels many into illicit drug trafficking and other criminal activities. We have therefore prepared adequately to tackle the antics of drug barons.
“We shall stop them by strategic reduction of our threats and maximisation of drug control opportunities. The use of older people will certainly not work as these arrests have shown.”
He also disclosed that the suspects would be charged to court as soon as investigations were concluded.