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Ex-footballer, Brazilian Returnee Arrested At Lagos Airport For Cocaine Trafficking As NDLEA Nabs 2 Malians Over Attempt To Export Akuskura

Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, have arrested an ex-footballer, Okafor Emmanuel Junior at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, on his arrival from Sao Paulo, Brazil via Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on board an Ethiopian airlines flight with 1.40kg crack cocaine concealed in his bags.

The 33-year-old indigene of Arochukwu Local Government, Abia State was arrested on Monday 26th September 2022 after anti-narcotic officers discovered he concealed the illicit substance in the handles of his bags and padded the top edges of same with the class A drug.

During preliminary interview, Okafor disclosed that he was an ex-footballer with the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, UNTH Enugu FC, where he played for four seasons before leaving for Sri Lanka in 2014. He further stated that he moved to Brazil from Sri Lanka after playing for two seasons but could not advance his football career in Brazil due lack of official documents.

Another Brazilian returnee, Ibeh Chinedu Damian was arrested same day upon his arrival at the Lagos airport from Sao Paulo, Brazil via Ethiopian airlines flight. Ibeh who hails from Ahiazu, Mbaise Local Government Area of Imo State, was found to have concealed 3.20kg black cocaine popularly known as ‘Lucci’ in false bottoms of his two bags.

In his statement, he said he was to be paid three million, one hundred thousand naira (N3,100,000) on successful delivery of the drug in Nigeria.

In the same vein, attempt by a 32-year-old businesswoman, Mrs. Pamela Odin to traffic 2.150kg tablets of rohypnol through the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, NAIA, Abuja to Istanbul, Turkey has been thwarted by NDLEA operatives. The mother of one was arrested on Friday 23rd Sept. while attempting to board a Turkish airline flight with the drug concealed inside pepper and packed among foodstuff.

The indigene of Afiesere village, Ughelli North Local Government, Delta State said she operates a restaurant in Istanbul, Turkey but came to Nigeria to see her relatives and buy food items for her restaurant business.

Meanwhile, two Malians: Mohammed Demoele, 38 and Coulibaly Maliki, 56, have been arrested by officers of the Marine Unit of NDLEA at Ebute Ero jetty in Lagos for attempting to export 34.2kg bottles of new psychoactive substance, Akuskura to Mali through Cotonou, Benin Republic.

In Taraba state, operatives on Thursday 29th Sept. intercepted 100 compressed blocks of Cannabis Sativa weighing 73.500kg, concealed inside animal feeds, while their counterparts in Ogun state on Saturday 1st October arrested a physically challenged drug dealer, Abdulraham Mohammed, with 104kg of compressed Cannabis Sativa recovered from him. Another suspect, Ms. Safiya Bello, was also arrested in Shagamu area of the state with 27kg of the psychotropic substance.

Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) commended the officers and men of Seaports Operations, MMIA, Ogun, and Taraba Commands for their resilience, while charging them and others across the country to intensify ongoing offensive action against drug cartels and traffickers wherever they may be located in any part of Nigeria.

Femi Babafemi

Director, Media & Advocacy

NDLEA Headquarters Abuja

Sunday 2nd October 2022

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