Lesser Hajj  Pilgrim Arrested at Lagos Airport with 14.4kg Cocaine

Michael Olugbode in Abuja

Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have arrested at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, a widower, Ariyibi Olaseinde, and a divorcee, Silifat Akanbi, with 14.4 kilogrammes of cocaine concealed in lace and Ankara fabrics while attempting to take it to Saudi Arabia for lesser hajj.

According to a statement issued by the spokesman of the anti-narcotics agency, Femi Babafemi, Ariyibi was intercepted last Thursday at the screening point of MMIA Terminal 2 during outward clearance of Qatar Airways passengers travelling from Lagos via Doha to Medina, Saudi Arabia, when his carry-on bag was checked, four sets of white lace material with linings of substance that tested positive to cocaine weighing 11.5 kilogrammes were discovered.

Babafemi said the suspect, who claimed to be a widower and an advertising practitioner, disclosed that his original plan was to ingest the drugs but had to change his mind after failed attempts to swallow bitter cola, which he was using to practice the process. He is expected to be paid N1.8 million upon successful delivery of the consignment in Medina, Saudi Arabia.

The spokesman said the previous day, the NDLEA officers at the Terminal 2 of the airport also arrested Mrs. Silifat Akanbi with 2.9 kilogrammes cocaine during outward clearance of Qatar Airways passengers from Lagos via Doha to Jedda, Saudi Arabia, noting that a search of her hand luggage led to the discovery of six sheets of cocaine weighing 2.9 kilogrammes concealed in Ankara fabrics.

He said preliminary investigation revealed that the suspect is a divorcee and a trader, who used to hawk clothes around Awoyaya area of Ajah, Lagos. He added that based on information in her statement, a follow-up operation that lasted through the night into the early hours of last Thursday was carried out, during which the person who recruited her, Alhaji Adebayo Wasiu, was arrested at No 28, Olateju Street, Mushin, Lagos. Adebayo is the managing director of B&T Travel Agency.

NDLEA officers attached to courier companies have also intercepted two drug consignments consisting of ecstasy and skunk going to the United Arab Emirates. While the pills of ecstasy were concealed in a gold colour wedding gown, the skunk was hidden in a microcontroller.

This is even as a 400-level Marine Engineering student at the Niger Delta University, Amassoma, Bayelsa State, Kelvin Ogenedoro, was arrested for dealing in 600 grammes of skunk. He was nabbed at the university’s gate in a follow up operation following the interception of the consignment in a commercial bus on Tombia-Amassoma road.

In Adamawa State, a notorious drug dealer, Sunday Ishaku Emzor (aka Lalas), who was convicted and sentenced to 15 years imprisonment in 2010 for drug offences, was last Thursday arrested for drug dealing. He was arrested at Hayin Gada, Imburu Numan local government area where he went to supply 1.65 kilogrammes cannabis to an undercover operative. His Yellow Press Cub motorcycle used for  supplying illicit drugs and a cash of N78,120 suspected to be proceed of the illegal business were recovered from him at the point of arrest.

On the same day in Kaduna, operatives, acting on credible intelligence, intercepted a truck conveying 110 bags and 200 compressed blocks of cannabis sativa weighing 1.223 tons (1,223kg) in Zaria while the truck driver, Adekunle Olanrewaju, 32, and his assistant, Tunde Jamiu, 20, were arrested.

In Edo State, a 42-year-old cripple, Lucky Aigberenmolen, trading in illicit drugs on his wheelchair was arrested in a raid of drug joints in parts of the state. While Aigberenmolen was nabbed in Ekpoma, Esan West Local Government Area with 1.3 kilogrammes of cannabis sativa and 10 litres of Monkeytail, another suspect, Mary David, 46, was arrested at Ugbegun, Esan Central LGA with four litres of Monkeytail and Osagiede Stephanie, 19, in Ekpoma, with various quantities of Colorado, Methamphetamine, and Molly. A 50kg cannabis stored in a bush ready for distribution was also recovered in Irrua area of the state.

Babafemi said while two suspects, Adeshina Olalekan and Christopher Joel, were arrested at Lektop Hotel in Igbeba, Ijebu Ode, Ogun State, with 39 litres of Skuchies, as well as various quantities of tramadol, and rophynol, operatives in Imo State intercepted a female suspect, Ijeoma Anyiam, 40, at Orogwe, Owerri North with 70 blocks of cannabis sativa weighing 30kg.

He disclosed that a notorious drug dealer in Okitipupa area of Ondo State, Matthew Obateru, 42, has also been taken into custody after different quantities of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, Colorado and Loud were recovered from him. In Taraba State, a suspect, Mohammed Usman, was arrested last Monday in connection with the seizure of 10,009 pills of tramadol.

Meanwhile while commending the officers and men of the MMIA, Directorate of Operations and General Investigation, DOGI, Bayelsa, Adamawa, Kaduna, Edo, Ogun, Imo, Ondo and Taraba State Commands of the agency for the excellent job done in the past week, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (rtd), charged them and their compatriots across the country to continue to raise the bar of professionalism in the daily discharge of their responsibilities.

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