The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has seized a consignment of cocaine worth £3.8 million (N1.9 billion) at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
According to a statement issued on Monday by the agency’s spokesperson, Mr Mitchell Ofoyeju, the substance, weighing 9.150 kilogrammes, was concealed inside soles of new shoes.
The statement added that the substance was discovered in a shipment of shoes during inward screening of passengers on a Turkish Airline flight from Sao Paulo, Brazil.
The statement read: “The discovery was made in a shipment of shoes during inward screening of passengers on a Turkish airline flight from Sao Paulo, Brazil.
“The cocaine was industrially concealed in the soles of new foot wears.
“It was the last arrest of 2016 at the Abuja airport with an estimated value of 3.8 million pounds.
“There was an arrest at the weekend of a 34- year old suspect, Kingsley Okolo.
“The suspect who is a motorcycle parts dealer said that he was offered the N1 million to smuggle the drugs to Nigeria.
“Investigation is on going and the suspect is cooperating with our team of undercover officers.”
Ofoyeju also quoted the chairman of the NDLEA, Mr Muhammad Abdallah, as saying that the huge profit derived from drug trafficking has made it a top priority for drug cartels to be financially incapacitated.
“We must continue to take deliberate steps to intercept drugs and ultimately prevent the criminal enrichment of drug cartels.
“Illicit drug proceeds negatively affect economic development and could be used to corrupt government officials and fund terrorism thereby subjecting mankind to widespread destruction,” Abdallah stated.
The chairman also commended the arresting officers describing the seizure as one of the benefits of training.
“The seizure is a validation of enhanced capacity of officers due to series of training programmes carried out by the Agency.”
He appealed to stakeholders to intensify the anti-narcotics campaign adding that ‘we needed all hands on deck as we begin the new year.
The NDLEA boss said the suspect would soon be charged to court.