Michael Olugbode in Abuja
A Chadian lady, Vivien Tarmadji has been arrested at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, by the operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), with 234.35 grammes of heroin concealed in her private part.
She was nabbed while trying to board an Ethiopian airline flight 911 enroute Addis Ababa to Italy.
A statement yesterday by Director, Media and Advocacy, NDLEA, Femi Babafemi said Tarmadji, who runs a saloon business in Italy since 2016 upon her relocation to the country via Libya was nabbed by vigilant narcotics agents during an outward clearance of the airline at the boarding gate after being scanned.
Babafemi said under interrogation, she claimed she was contacted by a man who called her from Italy to collect the drug from one man who delivered the illicit substance to her in a hotel she lodged in Lagos early in the morning before she took her flight to Abuja same day for onward journey to Italy.
Tarmadji was said to have further claimed that the man brought 50 wraps of heroin for her to swallow but she couldn’t, and as such she decided to insert 18 wraps into her private part and returned the remaining to the man that brought the drug to her in the hotel.
She also told her interrogators that she came into Nigeria to raise money to pay for her house and shop rents which had expired in Italy, as life has been so difficult since the emergence of COVID-19 pandemic.
She said the owner of the drug was to pay her €10,000 on successful delivery of the drug in Italy.
In a related development, one Okojie James from Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State has also been arrested with illicit drugs while boarding Turkish airline flight enroute Abuja-Istanbul-Cyprus.
The drugs found with him include 549 kilogrammes of Cannabis Sativa; 223.8 grammes of Tramadol; 192.34 grammes of Rohypnol; 214.05 grammes of Flunitrazepam, all of which were concealed in tins of Bournvita and milk, packed in a bag of foodstuff.
James during interrogation, claimed his friend, Mr. Elvis who resides in Cyprus asked him to collect the luggage for him.
He said Elvis’ sister sent the luggage to him in Abuja from Benin through a transport company, adding that he was into shawarma and indomie business in Benin before Elvis invited him to Cyprus claiming that he got him admission to school there.
The Commander, Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja Command of the NDLEA, Kabir Tsakuwa, said while Okojie James was arrested last Saturday, Vivien was nabbed on Tuesday 23rd March, 2021.
He added that both suspects would soon face prosecution.
Also the NDLEA operatives at the NAHCO Export Shed of Murtala Mohammed International Airport, MMIA, Lagos on Wednesday 24th March seized an abandoned five cartons of green leaves suspected to be KHAT with a gross weight of 105.7 kilogrammes.
Meanwhile the Chairman/CEO of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (Retd) has commended men and officers of the two airports Commands and challenged them to continue with the offensive action to secure Nigeria from the damaging effects of the drug scourge.