Six persons have been arrested by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, and the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano.
The operatives also seized from the suspects consignments of heroin and khat with a street value of over N10bn.
At the MMIA, Lagos, during cargo examination at the SAHCO Import Shed, a freight agent had presented a cargo from South Africa with an Ethiopian Airline ET 3901 Airway bill no: 071-40689003 for examination before the NDLEA operatives attached to the beat.
A statement issued on Sunday by the spokesman for the NDLEA, Femi Babafemi, said the officers subsequently conducted a search of the cargo during which a suspected brownish substance was discovered concealed inside a red Ghana-must-go bag.
He stated, “During preliminary interview of the suspect, it was gathered that another freight agent sub-contracted the clearing job to him; six suspects have so far been arrested in follow-up operations, while the substance tested positive for heroin with a total weight of 24.05kg.
“Another consignment in the consolidated cargo has also proved to be methamphetamine with a weight of 1.25kg, bringing the total weight of illicit drugs seized in the cargo to 25.3kg.
“Though the cargo arrived at the airport in the evening of April 16, properly searched the following day, follow-up operations leading to a number of arrests lasted till the weekend.”
The NDLEA Commander at the MMIA, Ahmadu Garba, said, “The heroin and methamphetamine consignments were tagged in different names to deceive our officers, but we still uncovered them and neutralised the suspects’ plot.”
In a similar development, the MAKIA Command of the NDLEA intercepted and seized a consignment meant for export to Manchester, United Kingdom, at its cargo shed.
A sample of the substance in the consignment was sent for laboratory analysis, the result of which came out positive for khat, which weighed 36kg.
This brings the total weight of illicit drugs seized at the two international airports to 61.3kg, Babafemi said.
The NDLEA acting Commander at the MAKIA, Mohammed Ajiya, said further investigation was ongoing to ascertain the true owners of the illegal consignments.
The Chairman/Chief Executive of the NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (retd.), commended the officers and men of the Lagos and Kano airports commands of the agency for not allowing the illicit substances to escape their watch either into Nigeria or foreign jurisdictions.
He assured them that he would continue to do his best to improve their welfare and take the anti-drug law enforcement agency to enviable heights.
SOURCE: PUNCH NIGERIA