A 45-year-old man, Abiodun Banjo, has been arrested by officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos State for alleged N31m drug trafficking.
It was learnt that Banjo, a graduate of a technical college in Ogun State, was heading for Pretoria, South Africa, when he was arrested with the drug concealed in two bags.
Our correspondent gathered that the suspect was allegedly caught with parcels of methamphetamine, valued at N31m.
The NDLEA spokesperson, Mitchell Ofoyeju, said Banjo’s arrest took place during the outward screening of passengers on a South African airline flight to South Africa.
He added that the parcels of drug tested positive for methamphetamine and weighed 3.435 kilogrammes with a street value of about N31m.
He said, “Two bags belonging to the suspect were found to contain parcels of methamphetamine. Inside the bags were also food ingredients and clothes, but underneath these was a thin parcel of narcotics carefully concealed. He was immediately arrested and investigation is ongoing.”
Banjo, in his statement, said the bags were given to him to deliver to a friend in South Africa, adding that he had lived and worked in Pretoria since 2012.
He said, “I work in Pretoria. My friend in South Africa called me that his brother would give me two bags containing foodstuffs to bring while coming. He also promised to give me $2,000. I opened the bags and checked thoroughly, but, could not find anything incriminating. That was why I accepted to take the bags.
“I was surprised when the drug was detected under the bags. I feel sad that my friend has implicated me.”
The NDLEA Chairman, Muhammad Abdallah, said members of the public must be aware of the tricks employed by drug cartels.
He said, “Drug traffickers recruit mules by enticing them with money. They are very clever in concealing drugs in bags, electronics, foodstuffs and clothes, among others. We strongly advise all passengers to pack their bags themselves and avoid taking bags for others.”
The NDLEA boss added that ignorance was no excuse in drug trafficking, adding that the suspect would be charged with unlawful exportation of narcotics. -PUNCH