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Battle against drug traffickers stiffens as criminal devise new mobility modes

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Despite the efforts by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA to curb drug trafficking across the country organised criminal syndicates have continued to devise various disingenuous modes of concealment to import consignments of illicit substances into Nigeria and export same to the United Kingdom, and United Arab Emirate through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Ikeja and Tincan seaport.

Some of the well known ways drug barons use in concealing and transporting illicit substances are through foodstuffs, shoe soles, bottled cannabis Juice, edible candies, cosmetic products, wooden sculpture, and imported vehicles are some of the ways drug cartels try to beat the agency.

Recently, a Lagos based freight agent Ogunsina Damilare was arrested following a bid to export 1.5 kilograms of skunk hidden in foodstuffs to Dubai, UAE through the SAHCO export shed of the MMIA.

A few days back, 11.5kgs illicit substance was concealed in a giant wooden sculpture. The consignment according to Director of Media and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi was intercepted by NDLEA operatives of the Directorate of Operations and General Investigations (DOGI) at a courier company in Lagos.

The use of candies and juice to conceal drugs and illicit substances is becoming common as most traffickers find these means very convenient and easy to sell. 

A Brazil returnee, Agbasi Prosper Chux was intercepted on Christmas Day at Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos with 105 parcels of cocaine concealed in candies at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos.

Director of Media and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi disclosed that an initial search of the suspect’s two checked in bags almost made him a free man as there was nothing incriminating found there until the NDLEA officers took a second look at the duty-free shopping nylon bags containing packs of ‘candies’ he was holding in his hands.

Webteam@Ipledge2nigeria learned that a thorough examination of the duty-free shopping bags revealed the packs of candies inside were used to conceal 105 parcels of cocaine weighing 2.8 kilograms and 43 grams of cannabis.

A preliminary test conducted on a plastic bottle of body lotion also found in possession of the suspect tested positive for cocaine with a total weight of 472 grams.

Similarly, 24.5 kilograms of cannabis indica imported from Montreal, Canada by Cedrick Maduweke who is currently at large was hidden in a used Toyota Sienna vehicle that arrived at the port along with three other cars in a container marked MSMU 5082733.               

Most times these disingenuous modes of concealment are foiled by the eagle-eyed operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA at other times they slip through.

Within metropolis and community services, dispatch riders are employed to distribute illicit drugs. 

Confirming the use of courier, the Director of Media and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi said some of the suspects arrested in the Lagos raids include: Rukayyat Eshinlokun; Pelumi Alejo and Banna Maina who specialises in the distribution of illicit drugs disguised as a dispatch rider. 

It is hoped that the operatives across the country would continue to step up their offensive action against drug cartels in the new year with an equal focus on drug demand reduction efforts. 

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