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NDLEA seize N28 billion worth of cocaine at Lagos airport

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The National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency has disclosed it seized drug substances tested positive for cocaine worth N28 billion at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.

The drugs recovered included a N21 billion worth of cocaine belonging to a hairstylist, Jennifer Onyejegbu and a N7 billion worth of the substance recovered in a luggage abandoned at the E-arrival hall of the airport after the inward clearance of passengers on Ethiopian airline.

33-year-old Onyejegbu concealed the cocaine weighing 26.84 kg in 16 duvets en route to Nigeria from Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Speaking on the arrest on Saturday, the spokesperson of the Agency, Jonah Achema said, “On the 27th of January 2021, at about 1320hours, during the inward clearance of Ethiopian Airline passengers at the E- arrival hall of Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, a female passenger by name Onyejegbu Ifesinachi Jennifer, 33 years, who arrived Nigeria from Sao Paulo, Brazil via Addis Ababa, was intercepted by NDLEA operatives.

“As a standard operating procedure, all passengers to and from high-risk countries are always profiled using passengers’ manifest.

“It happened that the above-named suspect was targeted. Consequently, she was taken to the NDLEA office at the airport, where her bags were searched thoroughly, and in the process, whitish powdery substances were found concealed inside 16 pieces of duvet contained in her two travel bags.

“Field test was conducted on the recovered substances and proved positive to cocaine and weighed 26.850kilograms. The suspect who is a hairstylist and based in Brazil was interviewed and she confessed to having agreed to smuggle the hard drug for the N2m only.

“Although she refused to disclose the names of her associates, she mentioned that she was asked to hand over the drugs to another person. The street value of this singular seizure is put at over N21billion.”

Onyejegbu was arrested on January 27, less than 10 days after the NDLEA new chairman, Brigadier-General Buba Marwa, resumed office and promised to crack down on the drug importation industry.

Marwa who worked as the Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee for the Elimination of Drug Abuse, PACEDA, between 2018 and December 2020 threatened, “I would like to warn those who engage in the dastardly trade of importation, export, cultivation, processing, manufacture, trafficking, sale, and consumption of illicit substances to stop forthwith or be prepared to contend with the NDLEA.”

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