Two Brazilians have been arrested by officers of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) over unlawful importation of canned, whitish substance that tested positive for cocaine.
The suspects were Dias Dos Santos Marcia Cristina, 36, found with 9.400kg of cocaine in her bag and Lima Pereira Erick Diego, 20, found with 14.465kg of cocaine in his bag.
A statement from the agency said the suspects who claimed to be tourists were arrested at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos with the canned cocaine in the midst personal effects inside their luggage.
NDLEA said the total weight of the cocaine seizure is 23.865kg with an estimated street value of about N310 million.
“Nigeria-Brazil cocaine trafficking route has gained notoriety over the years; but this is the first arrest of Brazilians with cocaine at the Lagos airport. The tins were factory-sealed such that officers had to cut it open to discover the concealed drugs.
“Several canned drugs had been uncovered at the Lagos airport in the past. This development has not come as a surprise to narcotic investigators because drug cartels are always adopting new strategies of smuggling drugs,” the statement disclosed.
NDLEA Commander at the Lagos airport, Ahmadu Garba, said:, “Two Brazilian drug suspects, a male and a female have been arrested with cocaine at the arrival hall of the airport. The arrest took place during the inward screening of passengers on an Emirates flight. The suspects travelled together from Sao Paulo, Brazil. During search operation, a total of 23.865kg of cocaine was found on them.”
NDLEA said it had also concluded arrangement to arraign the suspects in court; however, the suspects said that they were in Nigeria to visit several tourist attraction centres.
NDLEA Chairman/Chief Executive, Col. Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah (retd.) described narcotic interdiction at the Lagos airport as impressive and commendable.
He stressed that NDLEA Act prohibits narcotic smuggling and called on nations to intensify the anti-narcotics campaign.
“This arrest is impressive. It is a clarion call for nations to work harder and deepen collaboration in the fight against narcotics. Collective efforts are required towards making local and international borders impenetrable by drug traffickers and other criminals” Abdallah stated.
The NDLEA boss while commending the arresting officers also assured members of the public of diligent prosecution of the suspects.