The Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) says it has arrested a Brazil-based Nigerian who tried to smuggle into Nigeria 5kg of cocaine into Nigeria.
The suspect, Ibeh Augustine Chukwuma, had arrived at the airport in Abuja via an Ethiopian Airline, with a maximum ECOLAC bag, which was said to contain the illicit drug consignment.
Chukwuma, 36, has been a resident of Sao Palo, Brazil where he worked in a construction company since 2011.
According to him, he had approached another Nigerian living in Brazil for financial support for his forthcoming traditional marriage in Nigeria and was promised N500,000 if he could deliver the drug consignment to an unknown person who will receive him at the airport in Abuja.
Chukwuma, with only primary school education, admitted he was fully aware of the content of the bag but offered to carry it because he needed money.
Explaining more, the suspect was quoted by NDLEA as saying, “His name is Emmanuel Paul. He deals in foodstuff along with operating a restaurant. He is my friend. I asked him for financial assistance for my marriage and he said he cannot give me the money until I carry the cocaine. He actually told me that it is drugs but I have no choice.”
Chukwuma’s arrest came on the heels of a similar arrest of Udeagwu Emmanuel Ugwuchukwu at the Abuja Airport with 3.1kg of cocaine from the same Sao Polo, Brazil aboard Ethiopian Airline. The substance was concealed in a home theatre musical equipment NDLEA commander at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, Hamisu Lawan, described the seized cocaine as huge considering its street value of about N100 million.
“Over time we have seen a decrease in the volume of interceptions but we are surprised that this quantity is coming again. Our interaction with some suspicious passengers indicates an urgent need to have a closer link with Ethiopian counter-narcotic officials because intelligence indicates that the place is being used for warehousing of drugs or relay purposes for drug trafficking,” he said.