NDLEA intercepts N2.7bn cocaine at Abuja airport

By Emma Njoku

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has arrested a 32-year-old Liberia based drug trafficker, Maduabuchi Chinedu, at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja.

A statement by the agency’s Director, Media and Advocacy, Mr. Femi Babafemi, yesterday, said Chinedu was arrested with 9.30 kilograms of cocaine worth over N2.7billion in street value.

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“The suspect, who hails from Obaha Okigwe village, Okigwe Local Government Area of Imo state, lives in Liberia, where he works as a miner. He was arrested during an inward joint search of Ethiopian Airlines flight 911, at the Abuja airport, on Wednesday,  November 24, 2021, with 9.30kg cocaine with each pellet wrapped in candies wraps and concealed in his luggage,” Babafemi disclosed.

He said during a preliminary interview, Chinedu claimed he left Nigeria in 2018 to settle in Liberia where he now has a residence permit.

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He, however, added that economic pressure and the need to raise money to treat his mother for an eye problem led him to seek help from a friend in Liberia, who introduced him to another friend based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, who eventually gave him the drug to deliver in Abuja for a fee of N1 million.

The suspect added that he was initially scheduled to deliver the drug in Ivory Coast, but was rerouted to Nigeria at the last minute.

While commending the officers and men of the NAIA Command of the agency for their vigilance and working in synergy with other security agencies at the airport, Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (retd) charged them and their colleagues in other commands “to always remain two steps ahead of merchants of death who are daily getting more desperate to make money at the expense of the image of the country and Nigerians’ wellbeing.”

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