NDLEA intercepts drugs hidden in fish consignment
- Arrests clearing agent
Officers of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) attached to the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, have arrested a 35-year-old clearing agent, Chukwu Onyekachi, over his connection with the illicit importation of narcotics into the country.
According to a statement made available to newsmen by the agency’s Head, Public Affairs, Ofoyeju Mitchell, the suspect was apprehended by NDLEA over some narcotics hidden inside a consignment of dried fish from Thailand.
Mitchell, however, said that Onyekachi claimed that the consignment belonged to his client.
The statement said the consignment was imported into the country via an Ethiopian airline.
NDLEA Commander at the airport, Mr. Hamzar Umar, said, “Three types of drugs were found concealed in the dried fish consignment. The drugs recovered by the agency during the search operation included 24 packs of morphine injections weighing 14.960kg, 24 packs of pethidine injections weighing 10.820kg and 157 packs of apresoline injections weighing 3.505kg.
“In all, a total of 29.285kg of narcotics was seized and a customs licensed agent who handled the clearance of the shipment had also been apprehended.”
The statement noted that drugs like “morphine, pethidine and apresoline are not frequently seized in the country like cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and others,” but that putting the drugs in injection forms, the risk of abuse was very high, particularly among drug addicts.
In his statement, the suspect said, “A client asked me to clear the consignment. He told me that the content was dried fish. In the process, NDLEA officers said that they wanted to search it. I told them that it contained fish and that they were free to search. However, during examination, packs of injections were found under the dry fish. I was then arrested.”
Onyekachi hails from Imo State but lives in Lagos with his wife and three children.
Chairman of the NDLEA, Ahmadu Giade, in his reaction, promised to charge all persons linked with the import to court.
“The agency shall prosecute all persons connected with the unlawful import,” he said.
Giade warned that agents, who could not produce their clients, would face prosecution if narcotics were found in the consignment.
The statement added that the suspect would be charged to court soon.
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