Recession made me to smuggle N1.474bn of cocaine – Suspect

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A suspected drug trafficker, Okolo Emenike Kingsley, who was arrested for concealing wraps of cocaine worth £3.8 million (about N1.474billion using interbank exchange rate) in soles of shoes, has told operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) that recession forced him into the crime.

Suspect

According to the NDLEA spokesman, Mitchel Ofoyeju, Kingsley, 34, was arrested by NDLEA agents at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja.

The image maker disclosed that the illicit parcels of whitish substance that tested positive for cocaine weighing 9.150kgs were discovered inside soles of shoes.


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Ofoyeju said: “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.

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It was the last arrest of 2016 at the Abuja airport with an estimated value of 3.8 million pounds in Europe.”

Kingsley, a businessman, who deals in motorcycle parts, married with a child, blamed the Nigerian recession for his present predicament.

His words: “My business was failing due to recession so I travelled to Brazil in search of employment. Things became worse for me in Brazil because I had no money to sustain myself while my work permit was being processed.

I was equally confronted with the fear of deportation. This made me to become desperate in my search for quick wealth.

In the process, I met my childhood friend who offered me N1million to traffic cocaine to Nigeria. He also paid for my ticket and gave me three bags of shoes containing the cocaine.

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On arrival at the Abuja airport, the cocaine was detected and I was arrested. I had planned to invest the N1 million in a business in Nigeria.”


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NDLEA Commander at the Abuja airport, Hamisu Lawan said that the arrest was made during the inward screening of passengers and luggage on a Turkish airline flight from Brazil.

He narrated: “The suspect said that he was offered the sum of N1 million to smuggle the drugs to Nigeria. Investigation is ongoing and the suspect is cooperating with our team of undercover officers.”

Chairman of the NDLEA, Col. Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah (retd) commended the officers who made the arrest, describing the seizure as one of the benefits of training.

His words: “The seizure is a validation of enhanced capacity of officers due to series of training programmes carried out by the Agency.

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The training, which covered investigation, raid operations as well as prosecution, was conducted with the assistance of the United States government, European Union (EU) and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

This is just a tip of the iceberg because as the benefits of these training begin to manifest, more drugs shall be detected and cartels dislodged in the days ahead.”

The NDLEA boss appealed to stakeholders to intensify the anti-narcotic campaign. He said that the suspect will soon be charged to court.

-The Telegraph

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