TO make campaign against drug trafficking effective, the Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Ahmadu Giade, yesterday tasked regional bodies to be more involved in countering narcotic operations in the African continent.
The anti-narcotic boss made the call following the discovery of new tricks adopted by drug traffickers. He said active participation by regional organisations would boost the campaign to eradicate illicit drugs from societies.
Giade said the intervention of regional bodies had become imperative for a healthy and drug-free life.
“Heroin is usually smuggled from Pakistan, Iran and India but things are changing with the seizure of heroin coming from Tanzania. This is strange because they have turned drug trafficking into a relay race. The first set of traffickers will smuggle heroin from Pakistan to Tanzania while another set will take it from Tanzania to Nigeria. This is a new plan to evade arrest but we shall now beam our searchlight on African flights,” Giade stated.
He added that, “the role of credible stakeholders such as regional organisations must be maximised, adding that this is needed to boost drug control operations in the world, particularly in Africa.
The NDLEA boss hoped that regional bodies could assist in developing legal frameworks and funding for drug control programmes, reiterating that this way drug control capacity would be greatly enhanced in the continent.
Some of the latest tricks uncovered by Nigerian anti-narcotic agents are traffickers smuggling heroin into the country from Tanzania and drug couriers ingesting liquid cocaine poured into male condoms. These tricks were discovered at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) Lagos.
NDLEA Commander at the airport, Mr. Hamza Umar, said four suspected drug traffickers had been arrested. Two of the suspects, Ezeani Obinna, 28, auto dealer at Ladipo Market and Ozoemena Okoye, dealer in electrical parts in Lagos, were caught bringing heroin from Tanzania while the others, Egbo Innocent Oluchukwu and Ejimbe Christian Chidi were found to have ingested liquid cocaine poured into male condoms to avoid detection.
Umar said: “They thought that the scanning machine will not detect liquid cocaine but they were wrong. Even those coming from Tanzania felt that there would be no attention on them. We shall continue to do our best to prevent traffickers from using this airport.”
The suspects coming from Tanzania were detected during the screening of passengers on Kenyan Airways. The other two that arrived from Venezuela used emergency travel certificates aboard South Africa Airline flight.
Oluchukwu allegedly excreted 70 wraps of the oily cocaine weighing 2kg while Chidi swallowed 54 wraps of same oily cocaine weighing 1.350kg. Oluchukwu who arrived with an emergency travel certificate number 00000600, claimed he had spent 10 years in Venezuela.
He said the Venezuelan who gave him the drug promised to pay him $6,000.