by Adeola Balogun
A man has been arrested by officers of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) after he was reportedly caught with illicit drugs.
The accused, identified simply as Onyekachi, is said to have hidden the drugs, 14.960 kg of morphine, apresoline injections weighing 3.505 kg and petrified injections, inside packs of fish in an attempt to smuggle them in from Thailand.
Onyekachi was apprehended at the Nigeria Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA).
The Sun reports:
The NDLEA Head of Public Affairs, Mitchell Ofoyeju, while confirming the arrest, said that the narcotic substance was carefully hidden in packs of dried fish.
He said that the 35-year-old customs licensed agent was arrested by the MMIA Commander of the NDLEA, Hamza Umar, while trying to clear the consignments. He stated that the shipment was detected during inward screening of goods onboard an Ethiopian airline flight.
“Three types of drugs were found concealed in dried fish. The drugs recovered by the NDLEA during the search operation include 24 packs of morphine injections weighing 14.960kg, 24 packs of pethidine injections weighing 10.820kg and 157 packs of apresoline injections weighing 3.505kg.
“In all a total of 29.285kg was seized and a customs licensed agent, who handled the clearance of the shipment had also been apprehended,” he said.
Ofoyeju stated that unlike cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine, drugs like morphine, pethidine and apresoline, are not frequently seized in the country, adding that the seized drugs had been industrially prepared in injectable forms which increases risk of abuse particularly among injecting drug addicts.
In his statement, the suspect who lives in Lagos with his wife and three children, claimed that as an agent, he was paid by the owner to clear the consignment.
“A client asked me to clear the consignment. I was told that the content is dried fish. In the process, NDLEA officers said that they wanted to search it.
“I told them that it contained fish but they are free to search. However, during examination, packs of injections were found under the dry fish. I was then arrested” Chukwu stated.