News

May 28, 2019

A friend gave me to deliver in Nigeria, says Kenya woman nabbed with cocaine

A friend gave me to deliver in Nigeria, says Kenya woman nabbed with cocaine

COCAINE

By Evelyn Usman

An attempt by a Kenyan mother of two to smuggle 6.5 kilogrammes of cocaine into Nigeria has been foiled following her arrest by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

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The suspect, Angela Wairimu, 33, was arrested on arrival from South Africa aboard an Ethiopian Airline.

Some of the illicit substance according to the agency’s Principal Staff Officer, Public Affairs, Jonah Achema, was concealed in the false bottom of a travelling bag which also contained two wrapped parcels of the same illicit drug. She was said to have carried the bag as hand luggage.

The single mother, who shuttles between Kenya and South Africa, claimed during the investigation to be a modelling expert and a trader in clothes and cosmetics.

Achema said: “She stated that a friend in South Africa approached her to assist an unknown person to deliver the briefcase containing wears in Nigeria, which were brought to her at the airport through an errand boy.

“She was to deliver the consignment to the husband of the sender who was to meet her at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

“She also claimed to be on her second trip to Nigeria to procure home-made body beauty products and local fabrics for her enterprise called La Model in South Africa and Kenya.

“She denied being under any financial inducement but confessed that her daughter was suffering from acute leukemia, which put her under financial pressure.”

The NDLEA Commander, NAIA, Hamisu Lawan, described the seizure made by the Command as the biggest cocaine shipment in recent times.

He said: “We have had seizures of heroin, ephedrine and methamphetamine going to Southern Africa and in some cases to Asia, and even as far as the Pacific region such as New Zealand. But we are not surprised at cocaine coming from South Africa, which is largely due to flight network connection, operating two flights daily from Sao Paulo.”

The Commander, therefore, canvassed for the deployment of NDLEA in certain source countries as a matter of national security interest, even as he advised drug traffickers to desist from testing the will of the Agency.

“No matter the mode used by drug traffickers to conceal illicit drugs, we are well trained to detect it,” he noted.

He also cautioned airport employees to be cautious of “insider threat, as this is what is making rip-on/rip-off possible,” and further called for the urgent implementation of Advance Passenger Information, API, and Passenger Name Record, PNR, at the airports.