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Nigeria arrests 3 cargo agents for drug trafficking

Simon Ateba/Aviation correspondent

Three clearing agents have been arrested at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, southwest Nigeria, for alleged drug trafficking, Nigeria’s anti-drug czar said on Thursday.

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, said the three suspects are staff of the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company, NAHCO, and work at the Lagos airport.

They were apprehended for attempting to smuggle two consignments of methamphetamine on an Emirate flight to Malaysia, NDLEA said.

The drug, weighing 36.44 kilogrammes, was concealed in foodstuffs and laptop bags and declared as personal effects by the consignor.

NDLEA said it dismissed claims by the suspects that they had thought the drug was a food seasoning.

Two suspects; 31-year old Bolarinwa Labaika and 30-year old Abiodun Ofunaya who were arrested in connection with 6.955 kilogrammes of illicit drug while a third suspect 39-year old Ugochukwu Amagbu was arrested in connection with 29.485 kilogrammes of methamphetamine.

“The total weight of methamphetamine found in both packages is 36.44kg. The first consignment of methamphetamine hidden in garri, dry fish and yams weighed 6.955kg while the second weighing 29.485kg was hidden in laptop bags,” said Hamza Umar, NDLEA Commander at the Lagos airport.

The Chairman and Chief Executive of the NDLEA, Ahmadu Giade, was quoted as saying: “Agents are expected to take necessary precautionary measures such as knowing their customers and conducting checks on any consignment for shipment. The Agency will continue to prosecute agents whenever we detect drugs in any cargo that they are processing.”

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