The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency yesterday, announced the arrest of five drug suspects for allegedly swallowing 410 wraps of narcotics. The suspects, who were apprehended by operatives of the agency attached to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja were caught attempting to export the illicit drugs out of the country.
"Four of the suspects ingested 335 wraps of substances that tested positive for cocaine with a weight of 5.75kg, while one suspect ingested 75 wraps of substances that tested positive for heroin with a weight of 1.3kg," said Mitchell Ofoyeju, head of public relations at the antidrug agency.
Hamisu Lawan, the agency commander at the Abuja airport, in a statement, gave the names of the suspects as Udeagha Irukwu, 31, a Lagos-based computer dealer who swallowed 104 wraps of cocaine weighing 1.75kg; Owele Okolie, 30, a vegetable farmer in Spain who ingested 100 wraps weighing 1.6kg; and Nneka Kingsley, 30, a labourer in Spain, who ingested 64 wraps of cocaine weighing 1.15kg.
Others are Nwabueze Kal, 44, a trader who swallowed 67 wraps of cocaine with a weight of 1.25kg; and Bonek Boniface, 31, a labourer in Italy who swallowed 75 wraps of heroin weighing 1.3kg.
Mr. Lawan warned that the ingestion of hard drugs is not only illegal but can terminate one's life.
"Our message to the general public is for them to say no to drug trafficking. Swallowing drugs is dangerous and could lead to death," he said.
Meanwhile, the agency disclosed that preliminary investigations conducted revealed that all suspects swallowed the drugs in Lagos and boarded a flight to Abuja.
According to the agency, Mr. Irukwu, who was nabbed on October 20 for ingesting 104 wraps, was to travel in a Lufthansa flight from Abuja to Hamburg in Germany through Frankfurt. Mr. Okolie was arrested on October 15, at about 9pm while attempting to board a KLM flight from Abuja to Malaga, Spain.
Speaking on reasons why he went into drug peddling, Mr. Irukwu, in a statement from the agency, said: "My house at Number 29, Owokoniran Street, Mushin was demolished in September, that it was blocking a sewage canal. Since then my wife has gone to the village to stay with her mother.
" I needed to rent a house and bring my wife and child back, that was how I became involved in drug trafficking. If only I know that I will be caught, I would not have agreed to smuggle the drugs for 3,000 euros that they promised to pay me. It was my friend in Port Harcourt that linked me with the people that gave me the drugs in Lagos. He gave them my phone number and they were the ones calling me."
The agency however, disclosed that the culprits would face the law.
"All suspects will be charged to court soon," said Mr. Ofoyeju.
By Okechukwu Nnodim
November 6, 2009 01:35AMT