A major drug dealer wanted for attempting to export 69.65 kilograms of cocaine, heroin and cannabis to the United Kingdom has been arrested by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA)
The spokesperson of the agency, Femi Babafemi, said on Sunday that the drugs were to be exported through the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) export shed of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos.
He said the suspect, Stephen Ikeanyionwu, was arrested at a church in Ojodu, Ikeja area of Lagos state, adding that operatives of NDLEA had been trailing the wanted drug dealer.
The suspect was traced to a popular pentecostal church at Mike Ajari Street, Ojodu Berger on Sunday, August 15 and arrested after he stepped out of the church service.
According to him, his arrest followed the interception of a consignment of illicit drugs weighing 69.65kg going to the UK through the Lagos airport on August 12.
“The illegal baggage had been sent to the airport for export through a freight forwarding company, which in turn gave a driver to deliver at the NAHCO export shed.
“Following the arrest of the driver, follow up operations and investigations later revealed the true identity of the actual owner of the consignment who was arrested three days later in a sting operation,” he said.
Mr Babafemi said NDLEA operatives also arrested an Italy-bound passenger, Abibu Miminu, during the outward clearance of passengers on Ethiopian Airways flight to Italy via Addis-Ababa for ingesting illicit drugs at the Lagos airport.
“While under observation at the agency’s facility between Saturday, August 14 and Sunday, August 15, the trafficker excreted 68 wraps of heroin in three excretions, all weighing 800 grammes,” he said.
In the same vein, narcotic officers of the Directorate of Operation and General Investigation have intercepted illicit drugs at two courier companies in Lagos.
Mr Babafemi said 840 grammes of methamphetamine going to Australia and concealed in bolts and 340 grammes hidden in locally made footwear, also going to Australia, were intercepted.
He added that one kilogramme of cocaine coming from Ghana with the UK as destination and concealed in four local guitars was also intercepted.
Meanwhile, a South Africa returnee, Obi Samuel, was also arrested at the Lagos airport during the inward clearance of Ethiopian Airlines from Addis-Ababa, for importing 58 grammes of skunk into Nigeria.
Mr Babafemi said the suspect admitted ownership and claimed to be a cannabis smoker during his preliminary interview.