Lagos — National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has apprehended a Spain-based Nigerian, Ezeugha Sunny, for trying to smuggle one kilogramme of cocaine inside his sandals.
The suspect was detected during routine check on Iberia flight on Wednesday when he carefully packed the cocaine in two 500-gramme parcels and neatly hid in a pair of sandals he was putting on at the time of screening.
Three other suspects, Abuku Prince Kennedy, 26; Oparaji Anthony, 40, who lives in Spain and Tochukwu Christopher Okeke, 35, who lives in Monrovia, Liberia, were tested positive to drug ingestion.
NDLEA Airport commander, Hamza Umar, said Okeke swallowed 45 pieces of narcotic substances on his way to Liberia. He was to board Arik flight when he was tested positive to drug ingestion.
Anthony ingested 71 wraps while Kennedy swallowed 45 wraps.
Hamza, who said the suspects were still on observation to expel the drugs in their stomach, warned drug traffickers to stop their nefarious activities.
Sunny, a factory worker in Spain, claimed to have been given pair of sandals by a contact in Lagos.
In his words, I work in Spain but I lost my job some months ago. Though I am single, it is difficult to cope in Europe without a job. It is joblessness that led me into drug trafficking. I needed money for my upkeep and when they told me that the drug will be inside my sandals. I felt it was a good plan to escape arrest. But my desire did no work out.
The suspect hails from Anambra State and is said to have lived in Madrid for over 10 years.
Chairman of the NDLEA, Ahmadu Giade, attributed the seizure to dedication and excellent profiling techniques applied by undercover officers of the agency at the airport.
Giade said, The seizure is unique and the dedication of the officers must be commended. Drug barons will have their drug concealment methods discovered because we are prepared and committed to our duty of drug control. Regular training in both interdiction techniques and passenger profiling is also our strength.
He also said jobless Nigerians living in Europe were fast becoming the targets of drug barons and advised them to return home and be legitimately employed rather than smuggle drugs and end up in prison custody.
He said suspects would be charged to court as soon as investigation is completed.
18 June 2010