Officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) at the Nigeria Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO), Murtalla Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) Lagos have detected narcotics hidden inside a consignment of dried fish imported from Thailand. Anti-narcotic Agents have apprehended a 35-year-old customs licensed agent, Chukwu Onyekachi Emmanuel in connection with the illicit import. The shipment was detected during inward screening of goods onboard an Ethiopian airline flight.
According to the NDLEA Airport commander, Mr. Hamza Umar, three different narcotics were found in the consignment containing dried fish. “Three types of drugs were found concealed in dried fish. The drugs recovered by the NDLEA during the search operation include 24 packs of morphine injections weighing 14.960kg, 24 packs of pethidine injections weighing 10.820kg and 157 packs of apresolineinjections weighing 3.505kg. In all a total of 29.285kg was seized and a customs licensed agent who handled the clearance of the shipment had also been apprehended” Hamza stated.
It is pertinent to note that unlike cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine drugs like morphine, pethidine and apresoline are not frequently seized in the country. Besides, the seized drugs have been industrially prepared in injectable forms. This increases risk of abuse particularly among injecting drug addicts.
The suspect who lives in Lagos with his wife and three children told investigators that he was paid to clear the consignment. “A client asked me to clear the consignment. I was told that the content is dried fish. In the process, NDLEA officers said that they wanted to search it. I told them that it contained fish but they are free to search. However, during examination, packs of injections were found under the dry fish. I was then arrested” Chukwu stated. He hails from Imo State.
Chairman/Chief Executive of the NDLEA, AhmaduGiadein his reaction promised to charge all persons linked with the import to court. “The Agency shall prosecute all persons connected with the unlawful import” Giade stated.
The NDLEA boss warned that agentsare liable and will be prosecuted if narcotics are found in their consignments.
Meanwhile, the suspect will be charged to court soon.
Head, Public Affairs