Officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, have apprehended two cousins from Enugu State over alleged smuggling of 430 grammes of a powdery substance that tested positive to cocaine.
The first suspect, Okechukwu Samson Agwueze, 23, was arrested when the drug was found inside the sole of the shoe he wore during screening of passengers on an Etihad Airline flight to India, while his cousin, Ogbonna Onwumere, 38, who sponsored his trip, was also arrested and currently being interrogated by narcotic investigators.
NDLEA Commander at the Lagos Airport, Mr Hamza Umar, declared said “it is gratifying that the cocaine which was concealed inside the sole of a shoe by the suspect was promptly detected. The second suspect, who procured the travel documents and facilitated the drug deal, was equally apprehended.”
Samson, who is a casual worker, said that his grievance had to do with the fact that his cousin lured him into drug trafficking.
He said: “I work at construction site as a labourer to earn a living. I had wanted to travel out of the country in search of greener pastures, but I was swindled of N360,000while trying to get my travel documents. My cousin, Ogbonna Onwumere, promised to sponsor me to India so that I can work and further my education. He invited me to Lagos that everything was set for me to travel and gave me the shoe to wear, that mine was old. He never told me there was drug in it.”
The cousin, Ogbonna, who is an importer of textiles said that he wanted to use Okechukwu in smuggling the drugs to India, confessed that, “I wanted to use him in smuggling the drugs because I used my money in processing his travel documents.”
“I was doing him a favour, but I will have to get my money back. Why must I sponsor him if there is no benefit?”
NDLEA chairman, Ahmadu Giade, urged members of the public to be wary of relatives and friends who make offers of sponsoring them abroad, saying, “members of the public must be cautious of the antics of drug barons. They are not philanthropists, but criminals in disguise looking for drug mules to use in advancing their sinister activities.”
The NDLEA boss added that the agency would investigate the case to a logical conclusion.