LAGOS – The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has arrested a 61-year-old man, Prince Ifeanyichukwu, at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport for attempting to smuggle cocaine to Istanbul, Turkey.
A statement issued by the agency on Thursday in Lagos, said that a powdery substance that tested positive for cocaine was found inside the suspect’s luggage.
It said the arrest took place during the screening of passengers on a Turkish Airlines flight to Istanbul.
The statement also quoted the NDLEA Commander at the airport, Mr Hamza Umar, as saying that the suspect was the oldest drug trafficker arrested this year.
“This is the oldest suspect we have apprehended since January. During search, officers discovered 1.250kg of cocaine hidden inside his luggage.
“It was cleverly concealed such that we have to cut the bag open to detect the drugs. The case is under investigation.”
The statement said that the suspect blamed his involvement in drug trafficking on financial hardships.
“I used to sell cooking gas at Sabo, Alaba International Market, Lagos. Problem started when I lost everything to a fire incident in November, 2013.
“I was married to two wives and blessed with three children but one of my wives had left me.
“In my search for a source of livelihood, I was told to take a luggage containing cocaine to Turkey for a fee of 4,500 dollars.
“They prepared my travel documents and gave me 2,500 dollars. I would have collected the balance of 2,000 dollars if I had taken the drug to Turkey.
“The plan was so real to me, especially when they gave me my travel documents with the part payment. Now I know that I made a big mistake,” it quoted the suspect as saying.
It recalled that the NDLEA Chairman, Mr Ahmadu Giade, had called for the support of Nigerians in the anti-narcotics war.
“We need the support of all stakeholders in this all-important battle against illicit drugs. It is very shameful for a 61-year-old father to indulge in drug trafficking.
“We shall continue to prevent the exit points from being used for drug trafficking.
“The suspect will soon be charged to court,” Giade said. (NAN)