NDLEA Arrests 64 Drug Traffickers in Nine Months

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NDLEA Chairman, retired Col. Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah

Chinedu Eze

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has said that it has arrested 64 suspected drug traffickers and carried out 54 seizures at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos in the past nine months.

This was disclosed by the Commander of Lagos airport operations, Garba Ahmadu who vowed that NDLEA was determined to rid the country of drug smuggling.

Ahmadu who made this known yesterday in Lagos, regretted that traffickers put the lives of others at risk by making them work as mules.

He said the agency recently arrested a 55-year old man, Kouassi Jean Paul, also known as Eze Ikechukwu, during the outward clearance of passengers on Ethiopian Airline flight to Jakarta, Indonesia.

According to him, Ikechukwu had swallowed 80 wraps of methamphetamine and freely excreted 79 wraps but one was trapped in his system.

“We are not relenting in our fight against drugs and so far, the amount of drugs seized from suspects from January 2019 to August 31, 2019 stand at 260.202kg of drugs. Among them are cocaine, 20.360kg; heroin, 15.040kg; cannabis sativa, 112.242kg; methamphetamine, 84.920kg; and ephedrine, 28.140kg.

“A 55-year old man, Kouassi Jean Paul, also known as Eze Ikechukwu, was recently arrested, during the outward clearance of passengers on Ethiopian Airline flight to Jakarta, Indonesia. He swallowed 80 wraps of methamphetamine and freely excreted 79 wraps with one, which was trapped in his system.

“The suspect was referred to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) from NAF clinic and on June 18, 2019, a CT scan was carried out on him. He was examined by a team of top medical specialist led by Prof. Ibrahim, the chief consultant surgeon and Dr. Akanbi, a senior resident doctor at LASUTH. The specialist recommended an advance scan and on June 26, 2019, the endoscopy was carried out. Surgical operation was carried out on the suspect and the remaining one wrap trapped in his system was extracted,” Ahmadu said.

The suspect, Ikechukwu confirmed to reporters that he ingested 80 pellets of drugs but said he was saved when the doctors extracted them from his stomach.

He however expressed remorse for his actions, saying that he would not advise anyone to undertake such a venture because of the risks involved.

“I was lured into the drug business because I was passing through financial difficulty. I met a man who promised to help me out of the difficulty and he introduced me to someone else who gave me the drugs to transport to Indonesia. I ingested them but I was caught at the airport and doctors had to open up my stomach to bring out all the 80 pellets,” Ikechukwu said.