A newly-wed, Sunday King, and a tricycle rider, Chinedu Egwin, have been arrested by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency for allegedly smuggling heroin worth N575m into the country.
Punch Metro learnt that the suspects were apprehended at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos with 6.4 kilogrammes of the drug.
It was learnt that Egwin had trafficked heroin weighing 3.9kg from Kigali via a Rwand Airline flight, while King was caught with 2.5kg of the drug during outward screening of passengers from Nairobi, Kenya.
Thirty-eight-year old King, a trader in Abuja, told the NDLEA investigators that he agreed to smuggle the drug because he needed money for his honeymoon.
He said, “I erroneously took the decision to smuggle the drug barely four days after my marriage. I was in need of money for my honeymoon. But I should not have involved myself in drug trafficking. My thinking was that I could smuggle the drug from Nairobi in two days without my wife knowing that I travelled out of the country.”
Egwin, 32, said he was to be given N400,000 after the botched operation, adding that he wanted to use part of the money to repair his tricycle.
“I am a commercial tricycle rider in Imo State. The engine of my tricycle, which is my only source of livelihood, is bad. While I was looking for money to fix it, I was introduced to the man that promised to pay me N400,000 on the condition that I will bring the drug from Kigali.
“I accepted the offer because nobody was willing to help me. Apart from the repairs, my rent is due and my landlord has been asking for his money,” he said.
The agency’s Commander at the airport, Mr. Ahmadu Garba, confirmed the arrest and recovery of the drug.
“The suspects were arrested in connection with unlawful importation of 6.4kg of substances that tested positive for heroin. The drug with an estimated street value of N575m, was hidden in their luggage,” he added.
The NDLEA Chairman, Col Muhammad Abdallah (retd.), expressed satisfaction with the arrest, noting that drug traffickers now smuggled heroin produced in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Thailand into the country.
He said, “The agency successfully foiled their plan with the seizure of the drugs and the arrest of the suspects. Drug cartels thought it would be easy to smuggle the drugs into the country, but I am happy that we are thinking far ahead of them. The NDLEA will continue to maintain this lead until drug barons are completely dislodged.”
Abdallah added that the suspects would soon be charged to court.