Three freight forwarders in NDLEA custody over alleged drug peddling
Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) Lagos have arrested an exporter and three freight forwarders popularly called ‘Customs clearing agents in connection with unlawful exportation of illicit drugs out of the country.
The seized drugs weighing 54.76kg include 24.7kg of methamphetamine, disguised as artificial hair, 2.810kg of cocaine concealed in foodstuff and 27.250kg of diazepam. The seized drugs have a street value of N222 million naira.
Akpan Jacob, who is married with five children, said he agreed to take the job because of financial difficulties. “I am from Akwa Ibom State and I work as a clearing agent. Another clearing agent, Sylvester, gave me this job. Ordinarily, I would not have accepted it but I had no choice because of my family problems,” he said.
On his part, Sylvester, who hails from Delta State, told officials that Akpan was the one that mounted pressure on him to do the job. In his words, “I was never interested in this job but the pressure from Akpan was too much so I gave him the job. I also gave him N100,000 before my arrest.”
Odofia Mike in his statement said he was called to pick up the bag and send to Guinea Conakry. “A customer called me to collect a bag at the motor park. I collected it and went to the airport but during examination, some injections and tablets of diazepam were found inside the bag. This was how I was arrested. I have no idea that there are injections there,” Odofia stated.
Orji Sunday Otuu, who exports foodstuff to India, was found to have hidden 2.810kg of cocaine inside foodstuff.
“I used to export African foodstuff and spices to India. This time around, I was tempted to hide cocaine inside the foodstuff. I had wanted to make about N10 million naira profit but things did not go according to my plan,” he said.
Chairman of the NDLEA, Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah, in his reaction to the harvest of arrests said the agency has recorded impressive success in prosecuting drug traffickers. The suspects, according to Abdallah would soon be charged to court.
NDLEA Airport commander, Ahmed Garba, said the command was working to improve productivity. “We are leaving no stone unturned in improving the operational activities of the command,” Garba stated.