MMIA: NDLEA nabs 27 suspected drug traffickers before and during lockdown with over 300kgs of illicit drugs

Lagos, Nigeria, Murtala Muhammed International Airport – airside view of the main terminal building and control tower

Officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, have nabbed Twenty-seven suspected drug traffickers at Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos.

The suspected were nabbed before and during the covid-19 lockdown till date.
During a news conference in Lagos, the NDLEA Lagos airport Commander, Garba Ahmadu said the suspects include 25 males and 2 females.

He noted that most of the seizures put at 21 were achieved during the lockdown as most of the traffickers capitalized on the lockdown and the granting of cargo flights and other essential flights airlifting covid-19 materials waivers to transport their illicit substance stuffed inside cargo goods.

The seizures according to Ahmadu are 25.053kg of cocaine, cannabis sativa 31.330kg, ephedrine 19.811, tramadol 158.600kg and diazepam 42.000kg which total 301,282kg between January and June, 2020.

He stated that the last suspects and seizures of cocaine were made through commercial flight by Ethiopian airline from Brazil to Lagos in January and February while in March till date were made through the cargo section of the MMIA, Lagos.

During the lockdown, the NDLEA Commander said “In this month alone, we made two seizures of cannabis sativa and ephedrine despite that there is a lockdown people are still taking advantage of the situation to see what they can do.”

 The NDLEA Lagos Commander explained that the seizures so far made between January and June this year had surpassed that of the total seizures made in 2019.
 He said this had shown that before the end of this year, the seizures  may double or triple.

“If you compare the seizures for last year and what we have been able to do from the beginning of the year till date there is a huge increase because the total seizure for last year was about 377.801, now from the beginning of the year and mid year now we have almost 301, so there is an upsurge in the volume of seizure. That goes to show that all things being equal before the end of the year it might double or Triple the seizures made last year.”

Ahmadu noted that the command also successfully secured 9 convictions, adding that the feat was made possible by the vigilance and training of his officers in detecting drugs.

Speaking on the international Day against drug abuse and illicit trafficking Day, with the theme: ‘Better knowledge  for better care’, Ahmadu the day is usual commemorated with a week long activities but that was not possible this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

He said the day which is commemorated every year 26th of June  is aimed at creating awareness for people to develop a drug free lifestyles.
“Because of the pandemic the approach has to change, we had to do a lot of enlightenment from the inside not from the outside like it use to be.”The theme for this year’s celebration is apt, I believe it had captured what everybody should be aspiring to work with, it is better we know how far and how  we can handle the drug challenge.”


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