The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA has apprehended an Arik Air staff, Ikechukwu Chibuzor Oliver over his alleged role in the 20kg of cocaine seizure made by the United Kingdom Border Force at Heathrow Airport.
The 35 year old, who works as a catering loader, was found to have subverted airport security by concealing cocaine in catering supplies.
Preliminary investigations revealed that both Oliver and Chika had been infiltrated by a suspected drug cartel.
Oliver told narcotic investigators that he was invited into the illicit drug deal by his colleague Chika Egwu Udensi, a senior member of the Arik Air cabin crew that was arrested in London on flight W3101.
“It was Chika that introduced me into the drug deal. Whenever Chika gives me the drug, I will hide it in catering supplies. Chika knows where to collect the drug inside the flight. They pay me four hundred thousand naira (N400,000) per bag. I was expecting N1.2million for the three bags that I smuggled into the aircraft” Oliver stated. He hails from Isialagwa North Local Government Area in Abia State.
The graduate of Business Administration was employed by Arik Air in 2009.
Against this development, NDLEA chairman/chief executive, Ahmadu Giade has directed that henceforth all airport workers must be extensively screened.
“The Agency has taken drastic measures to avert infiltration of airport workers by criminal syndicates. Airline officials and airport workers shall be subjected to comprehensive search. The NDLEA will resist any act capable of undermining security at all entry and exit points” Giade stated.
The NDLEA boss stressed that all catering trucks, luggage trucks, aviation fuel tankers, machines and personnel whose duty directly or indirectly relates to the tarmac and flight operations shall be subjected to full screening.
As part of investigation, the rented apartment of Chika at Pastor Ojediran Street Ejigbo, Lagos was searched by operatives of the NDLEA. He lives there with the mother and siblings while his wife and children are based in Canada. The latest Range Rover car belonging to the prime suspect parked on the airline’s premises had also been moved to the NDLEA office as exhibit.
The 20kg of cocaine found with Chika in London was concealed within the construction of laptop bags.
The quantity and estimated street value of the cocaine is over N100million.

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