The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has arrested a notorious cross-border drug trafficking syndicate that specialises in hiding drugs inside engine compartment of cars at the Seme Border, Lagos.
Two members of the criminal gang were arrested at Gbaji check point along Lagos-Seme expressway during routine check of vehicles.
The suspects were said to specialise in shipping illicit drugs into Nigeria from Ghana.
According to the NDLEA Seme Commander, Mr. Nicholas Ajaduronye, both suspects concealed the drugs inside the car engine compartment.
“We have apprehended two members of a drug cartel that smuggle drugs into the country from Ghana. One of the suspects, Chukwura Ekene, 40, hid 18.3kg of compressed cannabis inside the air-conditioned component of his Mercedes-Benz car while Sulaiman Akinola, 35, concealed 9.750kg of ephedrine and 1.3kg of heroin inside the head light of his Toyota Camry,” Ajaduronye said.
The commander added that Seme Area Command of the NDLEA, between January and June 2014, seized a total of 102.405kg of narcotic drugs and arrested 20 suspected drug traffickers, 18 males and two females in six months. Out of the cases charged to court within the period, four had been convicted while others are ongoing.
Those arrested include a 24-year-old student, Babatunde Gafar found with 15.5kg of cannabis disguised as cassava flour and a 40-year-old trader, Obiasulu Chukwujekwu, found with 2kilogramme of cocaine in a false bottom of his bag. Both of them were arrested on their way from Benin Republic.
According to NDLEA spokesman, Mitchelle Ofoyeju, preliminary investigations revealed that Chukwura Ekene and Sulaiman Akinola are notorious drug smugglers who hide drugs in their vehicle engine components from Ghana to Nigeria.
They operate under the cover of commercial transportation. Chukwura hails from Oshimili South Local Council of Delta State while Sulaiman hails from Oyo State. Both suspects are cooperating with narcotic investigators.
According to Chukwura, the arrest came as a surprise. “I am surprised that we are arrested because how did they know that there is drug inside my car. Somebody must have reported to the officers,” he stated without remorse.