By Kucha Jeremiah, Abuja
The National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has arrested a 23-year-old drug trafficker, Okoguale Douglas at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA) Abuja with heroin while trying to board a Milan, Italy bound flight.
In a statement today, director, media and advocacy, NDLEA headquarters Abuja, Femi Babafemi said Douglas who hails from Uromi, Esan North-East Local Government Area of Edo State was arrested by the operatives of NDLEA during an outward clearance of Ethiopian airline flight number 910 enroute Abuja-Addis Ababa-Milan (Italy) at the boarding gate of the airport.
Babafemi said the trafficker after scanned tested positive for ingestion and has excreted 59 wraps of heroin weighing 781.2 grammes following his arrest.
He said during interrogation, Douglas claimed that 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.
“Douglas said he came to Nigeria on April 4, 2021 for the burial of his late father in Esan, Edo State and 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 would send him money on the ground 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.
“Contrary to the initial arrangement, Douglas claimed that he was called by a man on Thursday April 29, 2021, who asked him to come down to Abuja where he was picked by two other unknown men from Utako area and lodged in a hotel which he claimed he doesn’t know the address,” the statement reads in parts.
Babafemi further revealed that 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 1st, 2021 and was promised 2000 Euro on successful delivery to Milan, Italy.
Commander, NDLEA at the NAIA, Kabir Sani Tsakuwa said efforts are ongoing to unravel other suspects connected to the crime.
Commending the officers and men of the airport command for their resilience, Chairman/Chief Executive, NDLEA, Brigadier General Mohamed Buba Marwa 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 is smuggled in or out of Nigeria.
He assured them that he will continue to make their welfare a priority.