•The 6 cans of tomatoes paste containing methamphetamine
… NDLEA arrests currier who “ starched “ drugs into 27 pieces of cloths
By Lawani Mikairu
An interview session with Muritala Muhammed International Airport , Lagos commandant of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA , Mr Garba Ahmadu in his office revealed the antics of young Nigerians , and even elderly men and women who stubbornly insist on trafficking on hard drugs and being curriers at the Muritala Muhammed International Airport , Lagos
If the ingenuity deployed by these curriers in concealing the hard drugs is used positively, Nigeria could be better. Vanguard reporter was among the aviation reporters taken by the NDLEA Lagos Airport commandant, Mr Garba Ahmadu to the exhibits room of the agency where they displayed 27 pieces of clothes “ starched “ with dissolved Methamphetamine iron and neatly packed into a bag.
What amazed the reporters was the ingenuity displayed by the currier who made the clothes look like normal starched house wears. Garba said the currier was arrested on Wednesday 6th February, 2019 and was a Dubai bound passenger. He said the 27 pieces of clothing soaked in methamphetamine had a gross weight of 16.94 kilograms. The clothing included, “T-shirts, towel and trousers and native wears soaked in drug, dried, ironed and neatly arranged in a luggage to beat security.”
He added that “their mode of concealment include, ingestion, swallowing, anal, and packing .The traffickers employ different means to conceal their illicit drugs. It requires intelligence, physical profiling and experience to detect concealed drugs”. He said the currier will soon be charged to court after the conclusion of investigation.
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Just when the reporters were trying to get over the shock of what they saw, an officer of the agency rushed in to inform the commandant that a young man had just been arrested with drugs. This jolted all those present and everybody rushed to the investigation room where the young man was waiting.
The young suspect, who was not more than 30 years, was heading to Indonesia and was arrested for concealing 1.58 kilograms of methamphetamine inside 6 tomatoes paste cans. The suspect said he was not aware that the bag of foodstuffs given to him by a friend contained hard drugs.
The mode of concealment is what everybody marveled at. The 6 tomatoes paste cans looked like normal cans. But if the bottom of the can is pressed hard with mere fore fingers it would reveal the methamphetamine. A close examination and explanation by the officer that made the arrest showed that the bottom of the can was removed, stuffed with the drugs and neatly sealed with gum for easy removal.
Ahmadu commended foreign airlines for assisting and cooperating with the agency to record massive seizure and arrest in 2018. Ahmadu said 93 suspects were arrested and 73 seizures , made of cocaine, heroin, ephedrine, cannabis sativa, syrup with codeine among others, were made in 2018.
Speaking on the activities of the agency in the preceding year, the commandant said 5,377.12 Kilogrammes of drugs were seized in 2018, compared to 1,266.40 kilogrammes seized in 2017. This is more than 100% increase in the number of cases. He attributed this increase to the cooperation of the airlines used by these drug curriers.
Listing some of the foreign airlines who have assisted the agency in the course of doing its work at the airport, Ahmadu said Ethiopia airline, South Africa Airline, Kenya Airways, Etihad etc have been very cooperative in making the work of apprehending drug curriers by the agency at the airport relatively successful.
Giving a break down of the arrest made in 2018, he said out of the 93 arrests, 77 were male, while there were 16 females among them. He also said 34.41% of those arrested were between the ages of 40-49. 37.63 % of them were between 30-39 years, while 16.13% of them were between 20-29 years old. Those between the ages of 50-59 were 8.60 % and 2.15 % of them were between 60-70 years old.
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