A “shocked” South African-based Nigerian has told officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency he was implicated by his friend after parcels of drug that tested positive to methamphetamine were found in his luggage.
Abiodun Banjo, 45, was arrested during the outward screening of passengers on a South African Airline flight to South Africa.
The parcels of drug weighed 3.435 kilogrammes with a street value of N31 million in Nigeria, the NDLEA said.
The suspect, a graduate of Technical College, Ijebu-Ode, and hails from Osun State said the bags were given to him by a friend in South Africa.
“My friend in South Africa called me that his brother will give me two bags containing foodstuff to take to him,” said Mr. Banjo, who said he works in Pretoria and had been living in the country since 2012.
“He also promised to give me $2,000. I opened the bags and checked thoroughly but could not find anything criminal that was how I accepted to take the bags but I was surprised when the drug was detected under the bags.
“I feel very sad that my friend has implicated me.”
Ahmadu Garba, NDLEA Commander at the Abuja airport, said the drug was detected during a routine check on the passengers.
“Two bags belonging to one Abiodun Israel Banjo, 45 years old, were found to contain parcels of methamphetamine,” said Mr. Garba.
“Inside the bags were food ingredients and clothes but underneath was a thin parcel of narcotics carefully concealed. He was immediately arrested and investigation is on-going.”
Muhammad Abdallah, Chairman of NDLEA, called on members of the public to be aware of tricks employed by drug trafficking cartels.
“Drug traffickers recruit mules by enticing them with money,” said Mr. Abdallah, a retired colonel.
“They are very clever in concealing drugs as drugs have been detected in bags, electronics, foodstuff and clothes among others.
“We strongly advise that all passengers should endeavour to pack their bags themselves and avoid taking bags for others.”
The NDLEA boss said ignorance is no excuse in drug trafficking and the suspect shall be charged for unlawful exportation of narcotics.
“A person shall be deemed to have exported a narcotic drug or psychotropic substance under this NDLEA Act; if he brings to or deposits the narcotic drug or psychotropic substance concerned at any time at any customs area such as airports, customs port or any other customs point generally.”