BY IFEANYI OKOLIE
A 35 year old suspected drug trafficker suspect, Emmanuel Chubuike Onwuekwu who was arrested recently by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has opened up on how he was convinced into swallowing cocaine in Pakistan. He was apprehended penultimate Tuesday while trying to enter the country through the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) Lagos and was found to have swallowed 102 pieces of illicit drug aboard a Qatar Airline flight from Pakistan. The suspect who is the first arrest in the month of March arrived from Lahore through Islamabad and Doha. After several days of close monitoring under the custody of narcotic officers, he excreted 102 wraps of the suspected substance that tested positive to cocaine and weighed 1.650kg.
Speaking on his involvement in the criminal act, the suspect said that swallowing the drugs is like eating food. He added that in a trial experiment, he was first given 50 wraps of a popular Pakistani food called Suji to swallow by his sponsors in Lahore. “It was when I swallowed the first 50 wraps containing Suji food that they told me not to panic and that it was as easy as eating food. That was how they watched me ingest 102 pieces of cocaine. They also promised to pay me N600,000. They so encouraged me that I became very confident that I would not be arrested,” Emmanuel informed.
According to the 35-year- old suspect, financial lack and disappointment made him to believe whatever they told him. “Now I know that I was deceived into drug trafficking. Financial difficulty and disappointment made me to believe their lies. The harder I tried to be successful in life, the more painful my disappointment. I have been into business for a long time, yet I have nothing in return. I supplied polythene bags at Onitsha Main Market for 10 years before I travelled to Pakistan in July 2009. Since then, I have been working in a supermarket at Lahore. My dream is to become a successful building materials dealer,” he said.
NDLEA Airport Commander, Alhaji Hamza Umar said that the suspect came into the country aboard a Qatar Airline flight with an Emergency Travel Certificate on the ground that he had lost his international passport. “What we found on him was an Emergency Travel Certificate and he claimed to have lost his international passport. Already, he had accepted ownership of the drug and investigation had commenced,” Hamza stated.
Meanwhile, Chairman/Chief Executive of the Agency, Ahmadu Giade said that a team of experienced investigators are working to unmask his Pakistani syndicate. “This is a very sensitive case because of the suspected link with Pakistani drug cartels. We are prepared to pursue this case to a logical conclusion,” Giade promised. He urged members of the public to be law abiding and legitimately pursue their dreams and aspirations.
The suspect who will soon be charged to court in connection with unlawful importation of cocaine hails from Umuchu town in Anambra State.