The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) says it has apprehended a 36-year-old Brazil-based Nigerian man with 5kg of pure cocaine at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja (NAIA).
The agency made this known in a statement by it’s Head, Public Affairs Unit, Mr Jonah Achema, on Tuesday in Abuja.
He said that the man was trying to smuggle the drug into the country.
Achema said that the arrest was made on Monday by the agency’s Special Area Command at the airport, and named the suspect as Ibeh Chukwuma.
He said that the suspect was apprehended on arrival from Brazil aboard an Ethiopian Airline flight to Abuja with a maximum ecolac bag which was found to contain the illicit drug.
“He said that he is a resident of Sao Palo, Brazil where he has been working in a construction company since 2011.
”He confirmed that he had approached another Nigerian living in Brazil for financial support for his forthcoming traditional marriage in Nigeria.
“He added that the friend had promised the sum of N500,000 if he could deliver the drug consignment to an unknown person who will receive him at the airport in Abuja,” Achema said.
He said that the suspects were a primary school leaver and that his parents were aged, saying that he confirmed to be fully aware of the content of the bag.
”He said that he offered to carry it because of the pressing financial needs and mentioned the name of the friend.
“He said that his friend deals in foodstuff along operating a restaurant and that when he asked him for help, he said he would not give him until he delivers.
”He said that he had no choice than to carry the drugs as he was seriously in need of money.
Achema said that Chukwuma’s arrest came in the heels of a similar arrest of one Udeagwu Ugwuchukwu at the Abuja airport with 3.1kg of cocaine.
He said that it was coming from the same Sao Polo, Brazil aboard Ethiopian Airline.
“The substance was concealed in a home theatre musical equipment,” he said.
According to the NDLEA Commander at the airport, Mr Hamisu Lawan, the seizure was the biggest cocaine shipment in recent times made by the command.
NDLEA said that 5kg of pure cocaine was a huge seizure, adding that it was worth an N100 million.
“Over time, we have seen a decrease in the volume of interceptions but we are surprised that this quantity is coming again.
”Our interaction with some suspicious passengers indicate urgent need to have a closer link with Ethiopian counter-narcotic officials.
“And this would be necessary because intelligence indicates that the place is being used for warehousing of drugs or relay purposes of drug trafficking,” he said.