NDLEA intercepts 21.9kg cocaine in Abuja

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The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Command, Abuja, has intercepted 21.9 kilograms of Cocaine.

Spokesman of the agency, Jonah Achema, said on Tuesday in Abuja that the illicit substance concealed in two suite cases is the largest single seizure by the Command.

According to him, the two unaccompanied and unclaimed suit cases were discovered after the arrival of Ethiopian Airline, ET 910 in Abuja from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

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“During the inward clearance of the flight, the vigilant officers of the Command became suspicious upon noticing that the two brief cases were abandoned on the conveyor belt without any of the passengers claiming them.

“The NDLEA Commander directed the officers to keep an eye on the suit cases and informed the Airline and its handlers of NDLEA’s interest in the luggage.

“After few days of not claiming the luggage, the commander formally contacted the station Manager of Ethiopian Airline and NAHCO Aviance being the handler for the Airline, indicating the suspicion of the Agency of the suitcases and placed a standing order that NDLEA should be invited before the luggage would be released to the owner or in the event that the luggage would be returned to the point of embarkation,” he said.

He added that after many weeks of no claim by the owners, the Commander informed the Airline on the need for search to be conducted on the unclaimed suit cases.

He said that the Airline officials, including the baggage handler along with the Department of State Services (DSS), Aviation Security and Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) were invited to NDLEA office where the search was conducted.

He said, “The first unclaimed suit case was searched and found with three blankets out of which two contained parcel of transparent nylon which housed whitish substances suspected to be hard drugs.

“Field test proved positive for cocaine and weighed 10.750KG. The suit case had a baggage tag with a name Akamonye Ife. The second unclaimed suit case contained 22 packet shirts, one parcel of drug was concealed in each of the shirts and covered with a blue carbon paper containing a transparent nylon.

“The substance was also field tested and proved positive for cocaine and weighed 11.150KG. The second suit case had a baggage tag with a name Nze Lusaka U.  The drug seized made a total of 21.9KG.”

He also quoted the NDLEA Airport Commander, Kabir Sani Tsakuwa, as saying that “investigation is ongoing” and that “the Command is currently liaising with Ethiopian Airline to get more information in order to unravel the identity of the couriers.”