The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, has apprehended a clearing agent, Daniel Unegbu and two other drug peddlers at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, who attempted to smuggle 83.8 kilogrammes of drug out the country.
Officials reported that the illegal drugs worth N4 billion was cleverly hidden in artificial human hair and the drugs, according to them, is the largest amount of ephedrine seized ever discovered at the MMIA.
The 42-year old clearing agent alongside the other suspects, Joseph Ettah, 28, and Bright Wopara, 31, are currently in detention while authorities interrogates them.
Ahmadu Garba who is the NDLEA Commander at the MMIA confirmed the crime incident, adding that Unegbu aided the traffickers in concealing the drug meant to be smuggled to South Africa. Garba said:
“Officials of the NDLEA at the departure hall detected a bag and during the search, it was found to contain substances that tested positive for ephedrine, with a total weight of 83.390kg.
“So far, three suspects apprehended are being interrogated to determine their level of culpability.
“A preliminary investigation revealed that Unegbu, who works as a clearing agent, collected the luggage from his client and took it to the airport. Ettah and Wopara are the two luggage handlers who worked with him.”
Chairman of the NDLEA , Col. Muhammad Abdallah (rtd.), said the agency had been on stiff alert with the narcotic screening at airports in order to frustrate the different tricks employed by drug traffickers.
“Ephedrine is a precursor ingredient used in the production of methamphetamine. The estimated street value of the drug is about N4 billion. NDLEA will continue to resist any attempt by criminal syndicates to compromise security through strict law enforcement practice.”
He said, for now, the case is still under investigation and anyone found wanting shall be prosecuted in line with the NDLEA Act.