Monday, February 8, 2010

NDLEA foils plot to smuggle drugs in compact discs

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has seized 2.4 kg of cocaine concealed in compact discs (CDs) by a drug suspect who wanted to smuggle the illicit substance to London, England.

The suspect, Ngozi Monye-Cole, 48, was apprehended at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos.

The anti-narcotic agents have also arrested Nnadebe Henry Abuchi, 27, who allegedly swallowed 1.433 kg of cocaine while returning from Brazil.

NDLEA Airport Commander, Hamza Umar, who confirmed the seizure of 3.483 kg of cocaine, said the drug was discovered during routine check at the airport's baggage desk.

Monye-Cole was nabbed on January 30, 2010, for concealing 2.050 kg of substance that tested positive to cocaine inside CDs while Abuchi, who ingested 50 wraps of substance found to be cocaine weighing 1.433kg, was detected by the scanning machine.

Meanwhile, Osun State Command of the NDLEA has destroyed over 155 hectres of Indian hemp farms worth N5 billion at different locations in the state.

Also in a separate operation, the agency patrol, in collaboration with other security agents, have discovered a fresh cannabis farm where 600kgs of Indian hemp worth about N150m were recovered from one Steven Enenwe.

In a statement yesterday in Osogbo, the state Commander of the NDLEA, Mrs. Wosilat Audu, said 208 suspects were arrested last year in connection with cultivation and possession of cannabis, comprising 190 men and 18 women. Twenty of the suspects were youths.

Of the 208 suspects, 45 had been prosecuted and convicted while 33 cases are pending in court.

Also, the Kwara State Command of the NDLEA at the weekend disclosed that it arrested 84 suspected drug traffickers between January and December last year.

Besides, it seized 556.887 kilogrammes of hard drugs and destroyed 1.8 acre of Indian Hemp farm in Kawo Village, Edu Local Council, in the year under review.

The state Commander of the NDLEA, Mr. Nse Jack Inam, disclosed these at the weekend in Ilorin, the state capital.

Monye-Cole, a mother of four, who is a caterer, was arrested during screening of passengers on British Airways flight to London Heathrow Airport.

She was alleged to have cleverly arranged the discs in four sets, drilled a hole in the centre and inserted a pipe in each set which she filled up with cocaine using two undrilled discs at both ends as a cover to avoid detection.

Notwithstanding her creativity in packing the drugs, the NDLEA operatives found her out during routine search at the baggage check-in desk.

In her statement, Monye-Cole said that her sponsors gave her the discs containing the cocaine to deliver in London.

Her words: "It was my childhood friend that lured me into this mess. I met her at Asaba my hometown and she invited me to an eatery. She asked me to eat anything I like. In fact, I was carried away by her hospitality, particularly when she is a fellow woman.

"My friend told me that she does her business in Abuja where she is based. I demanded that she introduce me to her business but she said it was capital-intensive. That was how I told her of my husband's death and how I am struggling to take care of my four children.

"She convinced me to traffic drugs to raise capital for her kind of business with the promise of paying me 3,000 pounds. Unfortunately, I was caught at the airport by NDLEA. I was astonished when the officer detected the drugs weighing 2.050 kg because they told me it was only 500 grammes".

Abuchi, a trader was arrested during the inward screening of passengers on South Africa Airways flight from Brazil.

He was detected to have drugs with the aid of the scanner and was placed under observation to excrete the drugs, weighing 1.433 kg.

Abuchi, a Nigerian, is married to a South African woman and has dual citizenship of both countries.

He lives in South Africa with his wife and child but visits Nigeria regularly.

His words: "I swallowed 50 wraps of cocaine for a fee of $3,000. I agreed to do it because I needed money. It has happened and I believe I have learnt my lesson".

 The Guardian

Related stories: Drug traffickers stuff cocaine in roasted chicken

CNN reports on the Drug War in Nigeria

Video report on Nigerian criminals using Asian women as drug mules

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