The National Drug Law and Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) yesterday intercepted some illicit drugs including cocaine, which were to be smuggled to Congo Brazzaville.
The agency also arrested two suspects who attempted to smuggle the drugs: 28 packs of Tramadol weighing 21.99kgs and 1.8kgs of cocaine, through a disc jockey box and boxer shorts respectively.
While 27-year-old Afube Izuchukwu Henry, was identified as an automobile parts dealer, the other suspect, 36-year-old Chijioke Chukwuemeka Raphael, was said to be a factory worker in Dubai.
Confirming the arrests, NDLEA Head of Public Affairs, Mr. Ofoyeju Mitchell, said the seizure was made at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) Lagos.
He said: “The Tramadol which was hidden among camera items was intercepted during pre-shipment inspection. The consignment was destined for Congo Brazzaville in Central Africa.
“Another suspect was also caught with 1.8kg of cocaine in his boxer shorts on his way from Dubai. Both suspects are being investigated.”
Also, NDLEA commander at the airport, Ahmed Garba said: “Chijioke who deals in automobile parts was arrested for attempting to export 21.99kgs of Tramadol hidden inside a DJ rack box meant for export to Congo Brazzaville.
“Another suspect, Chijioke Chukwuemeka Raphael, a Dubai based factory worker was arrested with 1.8kgs of cocaine packed inside socks and concealed in his boxer shorts during the inward screening of passengers on an Emirate flight from Dubai.”
Afube who hails from Anambra State and married with two children, said he only acted on his elder brother’s instruction.
He said: “I am an auto-parts dealer. My brother who lives in Congo asked me to send a DJ Rack box to him.
“Unfortunately, when I took the box to the airport, NDLEA discovered tramadol inside it during their search and I was arrested in the process.”
On the other hand, Chijioke, who admitted he was offered N450,000 to smuggle the drug to Nigeria, said: “I have been a factory worker in Dubai for the past six years. I am married with three children but I cannot take good care of my family.
“I work from hand to mouth and I am tired of working without seeing the benefits of my labour. I met a man seven months ago in Nigeria who introduced me into drug trafficking.
“He promised me a better job in Nigeria and offered me N450,000 naira. I accepted the offer because I wanted to come back home and start a better job.”
Also reacting to the arrest, the Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Col. Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah, promised to adopt better strategies to disrupt drug trafficking in the country.
He said: “The NDLEA will continue to target criminal organisations for regular seizure of drugs, arrest and prosecution of drug barons.
“We shall continue to enhance capacity of the agency to dismantle drug trafficking organisations through training, improved welfare, confiscation of illicit drug proceeds and sustained collaboration with stakeholders.”
The NDLEA boss while commending the arresting officers, reiterated his call for sustained vigilance to prevent drugs from coming in or going out of the country.
Ofoyeju on the other hand said the suspects would soon be charged to court.