File photo: The Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos
According to a statement by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), the agency has intercepted and seized consignments of heroin and khat with a street value of over N10 billion,
The statement by the agency’s Director Media and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi, made available to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Sunday, in Abuja, said the seizures were made at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, and the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA), Kano, respectively.
According to him, during cargo examination at Skyway Aviation Handling Company Plc (SAHCO) Import Shed, at the MMIA, a freight agent had presented a cargo from South Africa.
This, he said, was with an Ethiopian Airline flight ET 3901 and an Airway Bill no: 071-40689003, for examination by NDLEA operatives attached to the beat.
“The officers subsequently conducted a search of the cargo, during which a suspected brownish substance was discovered concealed inside a red bag popularly called Ghana-must-go.
“During a preliminary interview of the suspect, it was gathered that another freight agent sub-contracted the clearing job to him.
“Eventually, six suspects have so far been arrested in follow up operations, while the substance had tested positive to heroin, with a total weight of 24.05kg.
“Another consignment in the consolidated cargo 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.
“Although the cargo arrived at the airport in the evening of 16th April, properly searched the following day, 17th, follow up operations leading to a number of arrests lasted till this weekend, ” he said.
Mr Babafemi quoted the Commander, MMIA Command , Ahmadu Garba, as saying that the heroin and methamphetamine consignments were tagged under different names to deceive the officers, who were vigilant in uncovering them.
In a similar development, the MAKIA Command of the Agency in Kano has also intercepted and seized a consignment at its cargo shed, meant for export to Manchester, United Kingdom.
Mr Babafemi said that a sample of the suspected substance in the consignment was sent for laboratory analysis and the result came out positive for Khat, weighing 36kg.
“This brings the total weight of illicit drugs seized at the two international airports to 61.3kg, ” he said.
Mr Babafemi quoted the Acting Commander, MAKIA, Kano, Mohammed Ajiya, as saying that further investigations were still ongoing to ascertain the true owners of the illegal consignment.
In the meantime, the Chair, NDLEA, Buba Marwa, has commended the officers and men of the Lagos and Kano airport Commands of the Agency, for stopping the illicit substances from escaping, under their watch, either into Nigeria or to foreign jurisdictions.
Mr Marwa, a retired brigadier general, assured them that he would continue to do his best to improve their welfare and take the anti-drug law enforcement agency to an enviable height.