Michael Olugbode in Abuja
Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have uncovered, at the SAHCO shed of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, no fewer than 442 parcels of crystal methamphetamine concealed in heads of smoked fish.
The drug-laden smoked fishes were packaged in cartons weighing 11.9 kilogrammes and for export to Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
According to a statement on Sunday by the spokesman of the anti-narcotics agency, Femi Babafemi, the consignment was brought to the SAHCO export shed of the airport on August 5, by a freight agent, Adekunle Paul, 32, from Yagba West Local Government Area of Kogi State.
He was promptly arrested upon the discovery that the seven cartons he presented for export contained parcels of the dangerous drug wrapped with foil paper and concealed in the heads of hundreds of smoked catfish.
Babafemi disclosed that the following day, Saturday August 6, another consignment containing 1.45 kilogrammes cannabis concealed inside granulated melon and crayfish and packed among other food condiments going to Dubai, UAE was also intercepted by NDLEA operatives who arrested the freight agent, Ajisefini Lateef, that presented the cargo for export at the SAHCO shed.
Also, anti-narcotic officers at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu have arrested a 50-year-old Mgbeobuna Eberechukwu for ingesting 77 pellets of cocaine.
He was arrested on Saturday, August 6 following his arrival from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia onboard an Ethiopian airline flight.
Babafemi said the suspect passed out the 77 wraps of the illicit drug in eight excretions spanning four days.
In Kaduna, three suspects — Saifullahi Sani, Salisu Nafi’u and Abdulrazaq Mamman — were arrested in Zaria last Thursday with 1,112,350 tablets of tramadol (225mg and 100mg) weighing 38.3 kilogrammes, while in Kano, a female drug dealer, Saratu Abdullahi, 28, was nabbed at Hotoro with 541 blocks of cannabis weighing 245 kilogrammes.
In Lagos, NDLEA operatives recovered a total of 1,773.25k kilogrammes cannabis sativa at Ebutte-Meta and Akala in Mushin areas of the state in separate raid operations between 9th and 10th August.
At the Tincan seaport in Lagos, 86 parcels of cannabis indica (Colorado) weighing 43 kilogrammes were recovered from a 40ft container during a joint examination with Customs and other security agencies.
The illegal consignment seized last Friday was brought in from Toronto via Montreal, Canada and concealed in two drums inside a Mercedes Benz SUV in the container.
In Abia, two suspects — Nnanna Ijo, 58, and Orji Uguru, 29 — were arrested last Friday with various quantities of cannabis, heroin and cocaine at Nde-Agbai, Abiriba, a week after Nnanna was released from detention over a similar offence committed in June.
Meanwhile, the Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (rtd), while commending the officers and men of MMIA, AIIA, Tincan, Kaduna, Kano, Lagos and Abia Commands of the agency for the seizures and arrests, charged them and their compatriots across the country to always remain steps ahead of the drug cartels.