‘Stubborn’ wrap of cocaine stuck in suspect’s stomach, says NDLEA
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on Monday disclosed that one of its recently arrested suspects may need a surgical operation to remove a "stubborn" wrap of cocaine that got stuck in his stomach.
The suspect, Okeke Ekwunife, 36, who until his arrest served as a cleaner in London, was apprehended at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos on October 26, while attempting to board a British Airways flight to London.
In his warning to prospective drug traffickers on the dangers associated with the ingestion of narcotics, Ahmadu Giade, chief executive of the agency, disclosed that peddlers of illicit drugs expose themselves to death, though he assured that the agency will give intensive care to the suspect.
"Let me reiterate for the umpteenth time that, besides the damage to the image of our country, drug traffickers also expose themselves to grave medical risk when they ingest narcotics," he said.
"Drug traffickers must know the implications of drug trafficking and shun the shameful and deadly act."
Idris Bello, acting airport commander of the NDLEA, disclosed that the agency had conducted a scan on the location of the wrap, insisting that if other medical solutions failed, the suspect will be operated upon.
The suspect, in a statement from the anti-drug peddling agency, admitted to the crime, saying that tough times led him into drug trafficking.
"I smuggled drugs for survival. I lost my job, my German wife left me and things became difficult," he said. "I swallowed 81 wraps and I have excreted 80 remaining ones. They promised to pay me 3,000 dollars out of which I was given 500 pounds. It was in the process of trying to borrow some money that I ended up in this mess. Initially, I was scared because it is my first time. My travel expenses were paid and I was in a hotel for four weeks in Lagos."
Other recent arrests
Mitchell Ofoyeju, head of public affairs for the agency, disclosed that a cement industrialist, Bolanle Moyinoluwa, 45, also known as Mama Seye, was arrested by the agency on November 7, at about 9pm during screening of passengers on Iberia flight.
According to the agency, the suspect, a mother-of-two who resides at Apapa, Lagos, was on her way to Madrid, Spain to deliver 75 wraps of cocaine that she ingested for an undisclosed fee.
Also apprehended on November 7, on the same Iberia flight, was Salam Ibiyinka, 46. A native of Odogbolu, Ogun State, Mr. Ibiyinka ingested 95 wraps of narcotics on his way to Paris for a fee of 2,000 Euros.
Another suspect, Benjamin Nwankwo, 32, was nabbed on November 3, on his way to Madrid, Spain during screening of passengers on the Iberia flight.
Also included in the recent arrest of illicit drug smugglers is Uka Onuoha, 35, an automobile spare parts dealer in Lagos, who was apprehended on October 25 while attempting to board a KLM flight to London.
Mr. Ofoyeju disclosed that the suspects are being examined by the agency to ensure the excretion of the ingested substances.
"Some of the suspects are still under observation to excrete all the wraps of drugs before they will be arraigned in court," he said.
By Okechukwu Nnodim
November 10, 2009 02:00AMT