NDLEA Seized N2.8 Billion Worth Of Drugs, Arrested 75 At Lagos Airport In 6 Months


Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos State, seized narcotic drugs worth of N2.8 billion and weighing 455.215 kilogrammes between January and June, according to a report by Nigerian Tribune.

In addition, $2.5 million cash was equally intercepted while 75 suspected drug traffickers and money launderers were arrested in connection with the seizures. They are 62 males and 13 females.

The intercepted money included $2.1 million seized from a bureau de change operator which had been transferred to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for further investigation.

While 15 arrests were recorded on Emirates Airline being the most preferred flight for those apprehended, Qatar Airways had 11 arrests, Ethiopian Airline followed with eight arrests and Etihad Airways, seven arrests.

NDLEA commander at the Lagos Airport, Mr. Hamza Umar, who gave a breakdown of the seized drugs, said: “The seized drugs included cannabis sativa, 138.304kg; ephedrine, 133kg; methamphetamine, 93.85kg; cocaine, 43.426kg and tramadol, 42.025kg.

"We also seized $2.5 million cash within the period. The money included the $2.1 million seized from one Mr. Ibiteye John Bamidele who is a bureau de change operator as well as other financial seizures totaling $403,825.”

The commander noted that several modes of concealment adopted by the suspects were detected by the agency.

He said: “22 suspects were arrested for ingesting drugs, 33 were caught with drugs packed inside their luggage while six others were found to have packed drugs on their bodies all in a bid to evade arrest. Thirty-nine of the suspects were caught during outward screening attempting to smuggle drugs out of the country. Seven among them were going to China where drug trafficking attracts death penalty.

"Twenty-eight others were apprehended during inward screening operations with twenty three of them coming from Brazil.”

Reacting, the Chairman/Chief Executive of the NDLEA, Ahmadu Giade, said illicit drug proceeds are highly injurious to the economy and that Nigeria cannot afford to handle drug trafficking with kid gloves.

According to Giade,
 “Illicit funds generated by drug trafficking are colossal. Such proceeds are unaccounted for and constitute a high risk in the coffers of drug syndicates which empowers them to sustain their inimical acts. As a result, we must continue to confront drug trafficking cartels with every sense of seriousness by deploying available resources at our disposal.”
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