Suspected syndicates abandon 7kg illegal drugs at Lagos airport

A bag of ephedrine

A bag containing 2,500 kilogrammes of heroin was abandoned at the arrival hall of the Lagos airport during the inward screening of passengers on an Ethiopian Airline flight from Nairobi, Kenya.

In a statement Monday, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency said a luggage containing 4.6kg of cannabis meant for export to London on a British Airways flight from Lagos was also abandoned at the airport.

“Preliminary investigation revealed that Unegbu Daniel who works as a clearing agent collected the luggage from his client and took it to the airport,” the NDLEA said.

“He hails from Anambra State. Two luggage handlers who allegedly worked with him are Ettah Joseph who hails from Cross Rivers State and Wopara Bright who is from Rivers State.”

Muhammad Abdallah, the NDLEA Chairman, said the agency also intercepted 83.390kg of ephedrine valued at N4 billion, the largest quantity seized at the Lagos airport.

“The ephedrine which was concealed in female hair attachment by a suspected drug trafficking syndicate was going to South Africa,” said Mr. Abdallah, a retired colonel.

“In addition, two bags, one containing heroin from Nairobi and another containing cannabis going to London were equally abandoned at the airport.”

Ephedrine is a precursor ingredient used in the production of methamphetamine, the agency said.

According to Mr. Abdallah, a bag containing ephedrine was intercepted by NDLEA operatives at the departure hall during outward screening of a South African Airline flight to Johannesburg, South Africa.

Three suspects including luggage handlers and a clearing agent are currently being interrogated in connection with the crime.

“NDLEA will continue to resist attempt by criminal syndicates to compromise security measures through strict law enforcement practice,” Mr. Abdallah said.

“Anti-narcotic agents have been placed on the alert and will remain vigilant in detecting any act of sabotage.

“The case is under investigation and anyone found wanting shall be prosecuted in line with the NDLEA Act.”

Ahmadu Garba, NDLEA Commander at the Lagos airport, gave the names of the suspects as Unegbu Daniel, 42; Ettah Joseph, 28; and Wopara Bright, 31.

“Officials of the NDLEA at the departure hall detected a bag and during search, it was found to contain substances that tested positive for ephedrine with a total weight of 83.390kgs,” said Mr. Garba.

“So far, three suspects apprehended are being interrogated to determine their level of culpability.

“Meanwhile the parcels of ephedrine was concealed amidst artificial hair.”

The cases are under investigation to uncover the drug cartel that is behind the illegal shipment of the narcotic drugs, the NDLEA said.

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