Drug suspects nabbed in Nigeria after evading detection in Brazil, Morocco

Officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency have arrested two suspected drug couriers at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos.

Chinedu Ifedigbo and Francis Okonkwo tested positive for cocaine during the inward screening of passengers on a Royal Air Maroc flight from Sao Paulo, Brazil, through Casablanca, Morocco.

The suspects inserted seven wraps of cocaine each weighing 350 grammes into their bodies to evade arrest, the NDLEA said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Preliminary investigation revealed that both suspects planned and executed the unlawful act together,” said Ahmadu Garba, NDLEA Commander at the Lagos airport.

Mr. Ifedigbo, 37, who had spent two years in Brazil said his arrest was due to ill-luck.

“I am a business man. I import female shoes from Brazil since 2014,” the NDLEA quoted Mr. Ifedigbo as saying.

Chinedu Ifedigbo

“This arrest is just bad luck for me because I was already calculating my profit from the deal,” said the suspect who hails from Anambra State.

The second suspect, Mr. Okonkwo, who hails from Enugu State said he agreed to smuggle the drugs out of frustration.

“I was stranded in Brazil where I worked as a waiter in a restaurant for two years,” said Mr. Okonkwo, 44, who is married with two children.

“Life was awful as I was struggling daily just to feed myself. When I was contacted to smuggle cocaine to Nigeria, I was very happy because it was an opportunity to return home.

“My sponsor also promised to pay me half a million naira with which I had planned to start a business.”

okonkwo-francis-okechukwuMuhammad Abdallah, Chairman of NDLEA, said the agency would not relent in the fight against drug trafficking.
“NDLEA is committed to the fight against narcotic production and trafficking,” said Mr. Abdallah, a retired colonel.

“Brazil is a source country for cocaine and I am glad with the high level of vigilance on the route resulting in several arrests and seizures.

“It is however sad that the suspects could insert narcotics into their alimentary canals in utter disregard of the health consequences. The suspects will be arraigned soon.”

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