The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja yesterday announced the discovery of parcels containing cocaine weighing 9.15kg.
The substance was uncovered in a shipment of shoes during the inward screening of passengers on a Turkish Airline flight from Sao Paulo, Brazil.
The cocaine industrially concealed in the soles of new foot wears, has estimated value of £3.8 million in Europe (N1.5bn)
Chairman/Chief Executive of the NDLEA, Colonel Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah (retd), observed that the huge profit derived from drug trafficking was why many are now involved in the illegal business.
Abdallah said: “We must continue to take deliberate steps to intercept drugs and ultimately prevent the criminal enrichment of drug cartels.
“Illicit drug proceeds negatively affect economic development, could be used to corrupt government officials and terrorism funding thereby subjecting mankind to widespread destruction.
Abdallah, who commended his officers, described the seizure as one of the benefits of training and validation of enhanced capacity of officers due to series of training programmes.
“The training covering investigation, raid operations as well as prosecution was conducted with the assistance of the United States government, European Union and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
“This is just a tip of the iceberg because as the benefits of these training begin to manifest, more drugs shall be detected and cartels dislodged in the days ahead.”
NDLEA commander at the Abuja airport, Hamisu Lawan, said agents arrested a 34-year-old suspect, Okolo Emenike Kingsley, who hails from Ezeagu, Enugu State.
“The motorcycle parts dealer said that he was offered the sum of N1 million to smuggle the drugs to Nigeria.
“Investigation is ongoing and the suspect is cooperating with our team of undercover officers.”
Speaking, the suspect disclosed he is a motorcycle parts dealer and married with a child.
“My business was failing due to recession, so I travelled to Brazil in search of employment.
“Things became worse for me in Brazil because I had no money to sustain myself while my work permit was being processed.
“I was equally confronted with the fear of deportation. This made me to be desperate in my search for quick wealth.
“In the process, I met my childhood friend who offered me N1 million to traffic cocaine to Nigeria. He also paid for my ticket and gave me three bag of shoes containing the cocaine.
“On arrival at the Abuja airport, the cocaine was detected and I was arrested. I had wanted to invest the N1 million in business in Nigeria.”
NDLEA said suspect will soon be charged to court.
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