By Daniel Eteghe & Okebugwu Chinomnso
LAGOS — Operatives of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Monday, arrested two suspects with 6.39kilogrammes of cocaine at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.
The suspects, Mr. Olalekan Bamidele, allegedly checked in a luggage containing 5.300kg into a Qatar Airline flight at Sao Paulo, while Nnana Chukwuma, allegedly swallowed narcotic drugs in Brazil and tested positive to drug ingestion at the arrival hall of the Lagos airport, were he was arrested during a routine search on passengers arriving from Brazil aboard Qatar Airline flight.
Chairman of the agency, Alhaji Ahmadu Giade, expressed delight at the arrests, particularly that of Bamidele, who he said wanted to take advantage of the Islamic festival to import 5.300kg of cocaine into the country.
According to Giade, “though drug barons are wise in exploring ways of smuggling drugs, we are wiser in detecting the drugs and arresting them. This arrest is a warning that we are always at alert to scuttle their next plans. We shall continue to expose their devices until they quit the criminal trade.”
He also noted that arrests had led to seizures of cocaine with an estimated street value of over N51 million, adding that the seizures were believed to have been masterminded by members of an international drug cartel, which smuggle cocaine first from Brazil to West Africa and from West Africa to Europe and America.
Bamidele was arrested on his way from Brazil last Sunday with 5.300kg of cocaine at the Lagos airport.
“I am a trained carpenter but I work as a painter to earn a living in Libya. I left there because of the crisis. I thought Brazil will be better for me but it turned out this way. I was asked to bring the bag containing the drug to Nigeria. This is my first time, please help me,” Olalekan appealed.
Chukwuma said, “Hardship forced me into drug trafficking. My family is in Gambia. I was frustrated into smuggling the drugs for N500,000. I feel bad about my involvement and do not know what to do now.”