ABUJA – The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) said it had arrested 129 suspected drug traffickers at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, in 2014 as part of its anti-narcotics war.
The Head of Public Relations of NDLEA, Mr Mitchel Ofoyeju, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja.
Ofoyeju said the suspects comprised 118 males and 11 females, while 436.065 kg of drugs estimated at about N2. 9 billion was seized from them.
“The breakdown indicates that cocaine has the largest quantity with 120.44kg.
“Methamphetamine is next with 108.645kg; cannabis sativa 107.855kg; heroin 51.01kg; psychotropic substances 37.285kg and ephedrine 10.83kg.
“The estimated street value of the seized drugs in 2014 was N2.9 billion,” he said.
He quoted the NDLEA Commander at the Lagos airport, Mr Hamza Umar, as saying that 117 traffickers were apprehended on 18 airlines, while 44 of them were arrested trying to import narcotics into the country.
He said that drug traffickers had adopted different modes of drug concealment while the command
arrested 29 persons who ingested narcotics, 88 hid the drugs in their luggage and four were connected with anal ingestion.
The NDLEA spokesperson said the MMIA command also made financial seizures including 24,362 dollars, 23,450 Euros, 10,000 Pound Sterling, N240, 000 naira, 1,140 South African Rand and 250, 500 fake dollars at the airport in 2014.
He said that the NDLEA Chairman, Mr Ahmadu Giade, had in the aftermath of these seizures said the agency would continue to work round the clock to curb drug trafficking not just in Lagos but across the country.
Giade urged the commanders to step up security checks at all airports so as to make it difficult for drug traffickers to penetrate all exit and entry points.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the statistics of drug arrests and seizures at MMIA, Lagos, in 2014 show that arrests increased by 16.22 per cent compared to the 93 drug suspects with 878.81kg of narcotics arrested in 2013 (NAN)