The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency has begun the interrogation of the Chief Security Supervisor of Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) and three others in connection with the unlawful exportation of 144 kilogrammes of Ephedrine to Maputo, Mozambique.
The drug was concealed inside noodles and packed in three brown cartons together with relaxers and cereals, the agency said in a statement on Wednesday.
The agency also declared wanted another NAHCO staff, Victor Ahenje, a Load Controller who is linked with the conspiracy but is currently on the run.
The plot, according to the NDLEA, was to smuggle the illegal shipment out of the country in an Ethiopian airline flight; but it was timely intercepted.
Hamisu Lawan, NDLEA Commander at the Abuja airport, said some officials who are working at the cargo section were invited for questioning and four NAHCO staff were subsequently detained.
“Those being interrogated in respect of the seized drug include the Chief Security Supervisor, Audu Garba, two security officers, Nasiru Ibrahim and Haruna Abdullahi, as well as a driver, Adamu Dasura,” said Mr. Lawan.
“Preliminary investigation suggests flagrant lapses on the part of NACHO security in charge of cargo. So far, they are cooperating with our team of investigators.”
Muhammad Abdallah, the NDLEA Chairman, called for proper vetting and re-vetting of airport staff to prevent acts of sabotage and compromise capable of undermining national security.
“This is a suspected case of conspiracy involving workers within the airport community,” said Mr. Abdallah, a retired colonel.
“The agency is investigating the level of involvement of the suspects under interrogation and anyone indicted shall be prosecuted. Any act of sabotage can cause untold damage to national security. We shall get to the root of this case. The agency is working very hard to promote peace and enhance the image of the country.”
The NDLEA boss while thanking narcotic officers for their vigilance added that proactive measures such as constant security vetting of airport staff must be taken to avert internal threat and ensure strict security compliance at key installations.
He assured that efforts are ongoing to arrest Mr. Ahenje, who hails from Benue State. The agency also called on members of the public to provide useful information that will lead to his arrest.
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