Congratulations from all quarters have continued to pour in to Nigeria after the country’s anti-drug officers arrested a man carrying 9.15 kg (20 pounds) of cocaine worth $4.7 million.
For years, Nigeria’s National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has been assiduously fighting against drug trafficking in the country.
Local reports had it that the large-sized cocaine was nicely wrapped inside shoes and that the culprit was nabbed when he arrived at Abuja airport on a flight from Sao Paulo, Brazil. The drug seizure was reportedly the biggest in 2016.
There are strong indications that the drugs originated from Brazil and was likely heading to Europe, as West African countries are used as middle-men to send drugs from South America to Europe.
The culprit, a 34-year-old motorcycle part dealer, together with the cocaine was nabbed during a screening of passengers and luggage.
NDLEA spokesman Ofoyeju Mitchell, on Tuesday, confirmed that the seizure was the biggest in 2016.
He said: “It is our single biggest drug seizure of cocaine in the last year. We have had bigger seizures of methamphetamine, but for cocaine, this is a big seizure. And the mode of containment was ingenious. It was a factory-packed concealment because they were brand new footwear.”
Between 2006 and June 2008 over 12,663 suspected drug dealers were arrested in Nigeria, with drug seizure of over 418.8 metric tonnes of various hard drugs.
These successes were achieved largely after the USA donated full body scanning machines for the Lagos, Kano, Abuja and Port Harcourt international airports and provided security training and orientation for airport officers.
The machines, which proved effective, went a long way in arresting smugglers and couriers taking cocaine from Latin America to Europe by way of Nigeria.
In January 2009, the NDLEA publicly burned 5,605.45 kilograms of drugs seized from traffickers in the historic town of Badagry, Lagos. The bonfire included 376.45 kilograms of cocaine, 71.46 kilograms of heroin and 5,157.56 tonnes of cannabis.
Meanwhile, Nigeria has condemned the death of one of its nationals who was allegedly choked to death on Thursday, December 29th, by the South African Police Service (SAPS). But SAPS denied the allegation, insisting that the Nigerian national died after swallowing a dose of heroin that he was trying to sell.
The deceased Victor Tochukwu Nnadi was arrested for trying to sell drugs.