By Ibironke Ariyo
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has nabbed a suspected drug trafficker, Okoguale Douglas, 23, with 59 wraps of heroin weighing 781.2 grammes at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja.
He had excreted the wraps following his arrest while trying to board a Milan, Italy bound flight at the NAIA in Abuja.
NDLEA’s Director of Media and Advocacy, Mr Femi Babafemi , made the disclosure in a statement on Friday.
He noted that Douglas, who hails from Uromi in Esan North-East Local Government area of Edo, was arrested by operatives of the NDLEA during an outward clearance of Ethiopian airline.
“This was flight number 910 at the boarding gate of the airport enroute Abuja-Addis Ababa- Milan (Italy) after which the suspect being scanned proved positive for ingestion.
“Under interrogation, he claimed he has been residing in Italy since 2011 after entering the country via Libya with one of his uncles.
“He said he works as a restaurant attendant in Italy where he earns 900 Euro per month and also works as a painter on his free days and gets about 400 Euro upon completion of any work.
“He also confessed he was promised 2000 Euro if he successfully delivers the drug to Milan, Italy. He said he came to Nigeria on April 4, 2021 for the burial of his late father in Esan, Edo.”
According to him, after spending so much during the burial, he ran out of money, a situation that made him to ask for financial support from one of his Nigerian friends resident in Italy.
“He further claimed that his friend then told him he will send him money on the grounds that he will collect a consignment for him from one other friend of his in Nigeria.
“To facilitate that, he promised to send him a number to call.
“He said contrary to the initial arrangement, he claimed he was called by a man on Thursday, April 29 and asked him to come down to Abuja where he was picked by two other unknown men from Utako area and lodged in a hotel.
“He claimed he doesn’t know the address, ” the statement quoted him as saying.
Babafemi said the suspect also claimed that the two men brought the wrapped drug to him in a hotel on Friday night after which he swallowed the 59 pellets early on Saturday, May 1.
According to NDLEA, Douglas said he was promised 2000 Euro on successful delivery to Milan, Italy.
He said that efforts were still ongoing to unravel other suspects connected to the crime.
Babafemi quoted the Chairman of NDLEA, retired Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa as commending the officers and men of the airport command for their resilience.
He charged them as well as their counterparts across the country to remain vigilant, especially with the coming holidays to ensure that no single gramme of illicit drug was smuggled in or out of Nigeria.
He assured them of continuous support and morale, adding that their welfare was a priority. (NAN)