Three suspected drug traffickers are being interrogated for swallowing two hundred and thirty-three (233) wraps of powdery substances that tested positive for cocaine with a weight of 5.05kg. The suspects were apprehended during outward screening of passengers by officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA). Two of the suspects, Obiekwe Frank Chuma and Okoye Jacob Okwuchukwu were going to Hong Kong while Chukwunyere Prince Emmanuel was caught on his way to Italy.
NDLEA commander at the Lagos airport, Mr. Hamza Umar gave a breakdown of the seized drugs. “Obiekwe Frank Chuma, 47 year old who ingested 80 wraps weighing 1.930kg during screening of Emirates passengers; Okoye Jacob Okwuchukwu, 43 year old was found to have ingested 70 wraps weighing 1.515kg during screening of passengers on an Etihad flight while Chukwunyere Prince Emmanuel, 39 year old ingested 83 wraps weighing 1.605kg. Prince was going to Bologna in Italy through Frankfurt on Lufthansa. They have voluntarily recorded their statements and our investigators are working on their cases” Hamza stated.
Obiekwe Frank Chuma said that he used to be a textile merchant before he suffered financial setback. “I lost my father when I was at Merchant of Light Secondary School between 1983 and 1988. I was given admission at Edo State University but dropped out in 300 levels due to lack of sponsorship. In 1997, I came to Lagos and started textile business. Later I began to buy my goods from Czech Republic and Hong Kong before my business suffered serious setback. In the process of looking for assistance, I was introduced into drug trafficking. I was given the drug in a restaurant at Onitsha and they promised to pay me 10,000 dollars. It took me eight hours to swallow the drugs but was arrested at the airport” Obiekwe stated. He hails from Anambra State.
Okoye Jacobs Okuchukwu said that he met his sponsor at a wedding ceremony. “I have a Diploma in Computer Science at the Institute of Management Technology (IMT) Enugu. I used to import textiles from Dubai and Hong Kong. My business was flourishing and I have travelled to Hong Kong over 15 times. I later had problem that took my capital and I was stranded. That was what led me into drug trafficking. I was forced to swallow drugs for many hours in order to continue with my textile business. They promised to pay me over a million naira” Okoye stated. He hails from Anambra State.
Chukwunyere Prince Emmanuel said that he smuggled drugs to settle his bills. In his words, “I am a business man. I supply teaching materials. Armed robbers attacked me and I lost one of my eyes in the process. As I speak, I owe over 15 million naira. I am unable to pay my rent, my children’s school fees and even feeding. I have no rest of mind because my creditors are on my neck daily. This is my first time of trafficking drugs and I was promised 4,000 euros”. He hails from Imo State.
Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Ahmadu Giade expressed concern over the way drug traffickers expose themselves to danger by ingesting poisonous drugs. According to Giade, “it is very worrisome that highly poisonous substances like cocaine, methamphetamine and similar drugs are brazenly ingested by drug suspects. Despite the attendant risk, these suspected drug traffickers could still afford to ingest 233 wraps of narcotics. The Agency will continue to sensitize members of the public on the priceless benefits of a drug-free society”.
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