The drug was the single largest seizure at the Abuja airport since January, with a street value of N82 million
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, has arrested a Lagos-based businessman who attempted to smuggle 7.45 kilogrammes of cocaine at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
Solomon Ochiabuto, 39, concealed the drugs in flasks and kitchen utensils and was caught during the inward screening of passengers aboard an Ethiopian Airline flight from Brazil.
The drug cache was the single largest seizure recorded at the Abuja airport since January and has a street value of N82 million, according to the NDLEA.
“The cocaine though carefully hidden in the flasks was detected during search operation,” Hamisu Lawan, NDLEA Abuja Airport Commander, said.
“We have commenced investigation into the case and he will soon be charged to court,” he added.
Mr. Ochiabuto, who resides in Okota area of Lagos, hails from Umuabor town in Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu State.
According to his statement, Mr. Ochiabuto said that he planned to invest the money in his jewellery business.
“I am a Secondary School Certificate holder. I could not further my education due to lack of sponsorship. I sell jewelries in Lagos to earn a living. I was married but now divorced,” Mr. Ochiabuto said.
“My intention was to invest the money from the drug trade in my business because I have suffered several losses that made me heavily indebted,” he added.
Ahmadu Giade, Chief Executive of the NDLEA, expressed satisfaction with the arrest and drug seizure and attributed it to the Operation End of Year Screening launched by the agency.
“The agency is prepared to counter the tricks of drug traffickers. As the year is coming to an end, we have launched Operation End of Year Screening,” said Mr. Giade said.
“This is targeted at preventing drug cartels from carrying out their criminal acts this season. Drug barons daily devise new drug trafficking tricks and we must remain extra vigilant to stop them,” Mr. Giade added.