The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency has warned the public, particularly those with relatives abroad, about a new fraudulent scheme being orchestrated by impersonators posing as NDLEA officers.

This was made known in a statement by the NDLEA’s Director of Media and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi, shared on the agency’s website on Saturday.

The statement said, “The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency wishes to alert members of the public especially those who have loved ones abroad to a new scheme by scammers who impersonate NDLEA officers and call unsuspecting citizens to inform them of the arrest of their relatives at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Ikeja Lagos or any other international airport in Nigeria with illicit drugs upon arrival in the country.

“After throwing the family members into panic, the scammers then make a demand of millions of naira to facilitate the release of such persons from NDLEA custody. We have thwarted a number of such bids in the past when the family members called the agency’s official contacts for help or clarification.

“At the moment, there is one such scenario the agency has just investigated. In this case, the picture of a Nigerian man based in the US is being circulated with audio of a purported NDLEA officer negotiating the payment of N5 million with a female relative for the release of the US-based Nigerian man purportedly arrested at the Lagos airport on Friday 22nd March upon his arrival with a ‘contraband’

“Just like in previous instances, our investigation has also shown that the current incident is the work of scammers. No NDLEA officer is involved in the audio conversation and the person whose photo is attached to the audio recording being circulated is not in our custody at MMIA or any of our commands either as at yesterday or any other day.

“The family members involved in this case are advised not to part with their hard-earned money to scammers. Nigerians with loved ones abroad are also urged to keep discussions on travel plans of their relatives to themselves to avoid the hijack of such by criminal elements for devious schemes.

”For those who may have a similar challenge, please feel free to seek help or clarification through any of our contact lines”