Nigeria anti-narcotics agents part of airport drug ring
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, on Friday said it had uncovered a suspected drug trafficking cartel that included some of the agency’s staff at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu.
This is contained in a statement issued by the agency’s spokesperson in Lagos, Mitchel Ofoyeju, and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
According to the statement, two officers of the agency, Daniel Goska and Ndubuisi Ughor, who were indicted and are currently at large, have been summarily dismissed and declared wanted.
“Other suspected members of the group include Ifeanyichukwu Dayson, a key member of the drug trafficking organisation, and Emmanuel Okorie, an Operations manager with Ethiopian Airline,” it stated.
It said Henry Amaechi, a supervisor of Passenger Service Department of Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc and Jacob Ezeugwu, a ticket and baggage staff at the airport, were among the suspects.
The statement quoted the NDLEA Chairman, Ahmadu Giade, who described the mode of operation of the drug cartel as strange, promising to adhere to global best practice in drug control.
“No bad egg in the agency will escape justice. Notwithstanding the strange way the cartel operates, I am pleased that it was exposed and ultimately dislodged.
“The agency will continue to adopt superior drug control strategies in line with global best practice.
This is one sweet victory over criminal groups.
“The NDLEA is committed to the eradication of narcotics from our country and will continue to look both inwards and outwards for subversive elements,” Mr. Giade stated.
He also added that although drug barons were desperate, the agency was committed to dismantling of drug trafficking organisations in the country.
The statement also stated the activities of the group were exposed when narcotic officials aborted the exportation of 74.7kg of narcotic drug that tested positive for Ephedrine.
“The drug was packed in three bags. Two of the bags weighing 50.7kg were destined for Maputo, Mozambique while the third bag weighing 24kg was destined for Johannesburg, South Africa.
“The 74.7kg of Ephedrine had been properly marked as exhibits and tendered as evidence before a Federal High Court sitting in Enugu.
“It was gathered from investigation that whenever the cartel had a consignment of drug, the airline operations manager will identify passengers on the flight whose bags are weighing less and tag the luggage in their names.
“Once this is done, they will contact their partners at the airport of final destination with the tag numbers to receive the consignments.
“These findings were further corroborated by the statements of the innocent passengers whose names were used to tag the bags containing the 74.7kg of Ephedrine.
“When invited for questioning, it was discovered that they had no knowledge of the bags tagged in their names,” the statement stated.