by Chinwe Okafor
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency apprehended four suspected drug traffickers at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos for attempting to smuggle cocaine to Brazil.
According to reports by Punch, the suspects ─ Ejiofor Eliezer (46), Obah Francis (30), Akpa Sobuzochukwu (27) and 36-year-old Ike Okechukwu ─ excreted 171 wraps of drug that tested positive for cocaine.
Apparently, the discovery was made during the screening of passengers on board Qatar and Emirates airlines. Eliezer, who excreted 100 wraps of the drug, told investigators that poverty pushed him to commit the crime, adding that he had intended to use the expected proceed to fend for his family of four, “I live in Brazil, where I work in a supermarket and lived with my wife and four children. Life in Brazil is tough because I live from hand to mouth. It was poverty that made me to smuggle drugs. I took risk by swallowing 100 wraps of cocaine for N200,000 because of poverty.”
Francis said he took to drug trafficking to augment the meager salary he earned at a bakery in Brazil, “I am single and have been working in Brazil for two years. At present, I work in a bakery and my salary is meager. My plan was to give the drug to a friend in Dubai, but he did not come to collect the drug as planned. This was how I had to come to Nigeria with the drug. I blame my friend for my arrest because I would have made S15,000 (about N2.8m) from the deal.”
Sobuzochukwu, who holds a diploma in accounting, also said his poor salary as a cleaner forced him to ingest 26 wraps of cocaine for a fee of S1,500 (about N285,000).
Okechukwu said he did not think that he would be arrested. He said he had thought that the five wraps of cocaine he ingested would not be detected, “I regret my involvement in drug trafficking. I dropped out of school in Junior Secondary School class two and I work in a toy company in Brazil,” he added.
The NDLEA Chairman, Ahmadu Giade, said Brazil-Nigeria route was a high risk path to drug trafficking and urged officers to be vigilant, “The suspects will soon be charged to court,” Giade added.