A suspected drug trafficker, Emeka Okafor, has said he went into narcotics trade to get enough money to rent a shop and invest in his business.
Mr. Okafor, 28, was among three suspects arrested by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.
The NDLEA said, in a statement on Friday, that it also arrested a suspect smuggling ephedrine inside female footwears to Tanzania.
“The names of the suspected drug traffickers are Ogujiuba Zacchaeus, 48 years old electrician caught exporting 26.6kg of ephedrine to Tanzania; Uchegbu Emeka, 33 years old textile merchant smuggling 305 grammes of cocaine to Cambodia and Okafor Emeka, 28 years old automobile parts dealer caught importing 1.370kg of cocaine from Sierra Leone,” the agency said in a statement by its spokesperson, Mitchel Ofoyeju.
The agency said all the cases were being investigated and the suspects would appear in court soon.
“My love for money made me to ingest 69 wraps of cocaine 1.370kgs in Sierra Leone,” the agency quoted Mr. Okafor, an automobile parts dealer in Lagos, as saying.
Another suspect, Mr. Ogujiuba, said he was introduced into the illicit trade by an old friend.
“I am married with six children and I reside in Abia where I work as an electrician,” the suspect was quoted as saying.
“The ephedrine was carefully hidden inside female shoes and given to me by an old time friend. He told me to take the drug to Lagos and handle the shipping arrangements to Tanzania. Unfortunately, I was arrested during examination of the consignment after the drug was discovered. I regret ever getting involved in drug trafficking.”
Mr. Uchegbu, who allegedly inserted seven wraps of cocaine into his anus in a bid to evade arrest blamed his involvement on joblessness.
“I am a textile merchant but today I am jobless. I lost everything due to economic recession and family problems,” he said.
“That was why I agreed to collect the sum of eight hundred thousand naira to smuggle cocaine to Cambodia. My intention was to invest the money in legitimate business.”
The Chairman of the NDLEA, Muhammad Abdallah, assured members of the public that the agency would always ensure that offenders are severely sanctioned to deter others from engaging in drug trafficking.
“The agency will continue to work very hard in ensuring the certainty of commensurate punishment for all drug culprits in line with the NDLEA Act,” Mr. Abdallah stated.
The NDLEA boss added that investing proceeds of drug trafficking in legitimate businesses is money laundering and that the agency would invoke relevant sections of the law against offenders.