By Nicholas Kalu, Abuja
Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos and the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano have seized consignments of heroin and khat with a street value of over N10 billion.
Spokesperson of the agency, Femi Babafemi, disclosed this in a statement on Sunday.
Babafemi said in Lagos, during cargo examination at SAHCO Import Shed, a freight agent had presented a cargo from South Africa with an Ethiopian Airline ET 3901 Airway Bill number 071-40689003, to NDLEA operatives attached to the beat.
He said the officers subsequently conducted a search of the cargo during which a suspected brownish substance was discovered concealed inside a red bag popularly called “Ghana-must-go”.
The statement reads: “During preliminary interview of the suspect, it was gathered that another freight agent sub-contracted the clearing job to him and eventually six suspects have so far been arrested in follow up operations, while the substance had tested positive to heroin with a total weight of 24.05kg.
“Another consignment in the consolidated cargo has also proved to be methamphetamine with a weight of 1.25kg, bringing the total weight of illicit drugs seized in the cargo to 25. 3kg.
“Though the cargo arrived the airport in the evening of 16th April, properly searched the following day, 17th, follow up operations leading to a number of arrests lasted till weekend.
“According to the Commander, MMIA Command of the Agency, Ahmadu Garba, the heroin and methamphetamine consignments were tagged in different names to deceive our officers but we still uncovered them and neutralised their plot.
“In a similar development, the MAKIA Command of the Agency in Kano has intercepted and seized a consignment meant for export to Manchester, United Kingdom at its cargo shed. A sample of the suspected substance in the consignment was sent for laboratory analysis, the result of which came out positive to khat, weighing 36kg.
“This brings the total weight of illicit drugs seized at the two international airports to 61.3kg. Mohammed Ajiya, the Acting Commander, MAKIA Command, said further investigations still ongoing to ascertain the true owners of the illegal consignment.
“Chairman/Chief Executive of the NDLEA on Sunday 25th April 2021 commended the officers and men of the Lagos and Kano airports Commands of the Agency for not allowing the illicit substances escape their watch either into Nigeria or foreign jurisdictions.
“He assured them that he would continue to do his best to improve their welfare and take the anti-drug law enforcement agency to an enviable height.”