OPERATIVES of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, MMIA, Lagos, have confiscated narcotic drugs with an estimated street value of about N2.8 billion from January to June 2015.
The NDLEA also intercepted $2.5 million cash and arrested 75 suspected drug traffickers with 455.215kg of drugs.
The suspects include 62 males and 13 females who were arrested for drugs and money laundering.
The NDLEA commander at the Lagos Airport, Mr. Hamza Umar who disclosed this in Lagos stated that the intercepted money included $2.1 million seized from a bureau de change operator, who had been transferred to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for further investigation.
He disclosed further that Emirates Airlines recorded the highest number of drug related arrests with 15 suspects while Qatar Airways had 11 arrests, Ethiopian Airline followed closely with eight arrests and Etihad Airways had seven arrests.
Umar gave a breakdown of the seized drugs to include “cannabis sativa (138.304kg), ephedrine (133kg), methamphetamine (93.85kg), cocaine (43.426kg) and tramadol (42.025kg).
“We also seized 2.5 million dollars cash within the period. The money include the 2.1 million dollars seized from one Mr. Ibiteye John Bamidele who is a bureau de change operator, as well as other financial seizures totaling $403,825.”
Umar explained that several modes of concealment adopted by the suspects were detected by the agency.
“22 suspects were arrested for ingesting drugs; 33 were caught with drugs packed inside their luggage while six others were found to have packed drugs on their bodies all in a bid to evade arrest. 39 of the suspects were caught during outward screening attempting to smuggle drugs out of the country. Seven among them were going to China where drug trafficking attracts death penalty; 28 others were apprehended during inward screening operations with 23 of them coming from Brazil,” he said.
Meanwhile, the chairman/chief executive of the anti-narcotic agency, Ahmadu Giade has said that illicit drug proceeds were highly injurious to the economy and that Nigeria could not afford to handle drug trafficking with kid gloves.
According to Giade, “Illicit funds generated by drug trafficking is colossal. Such proceeds are unaccounted for and constitute a high risk in the coffers of drug syndicates which empowers them to sustain their inimical acts. As a result, we must continue to confront drug trafficking cartels with every sense of seriousness by deploying available resources at our disposal.”
He assured Nigerians that the agency was working very hard to dismantle more drug syndicates.

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